Apple holds onto 54.7% of tablet market share in Q4, while Samsung languishes at 5.8%

Daniel Bader

March 14, 2012 10:34am

It’s no secret that Apple holds the hearts and minds of the tablet market, as well as the majority share. But it may surprise you to know that despite growing revenue, their market share has been steadily declining over the past year. Why the discrepancy? The size of the market itself is growing, and therefore we are using a wider berth to accomodate all things considered “tablets.” In many eyes, however, iPad is still the only game in town.

In Q4 2011, Apple’s market share dipped from 61.5% to 54.7% as the Amazon Kindle Fire rose to meet the challenge. Overall, however, despite Amazon capturing 16.8% worldwide market share from its US base alone, Apple still outsold the Fire almost four to one. Apple sold 15.4 million iPads in Q4 over Amazon’s 4.7 million. On the other hand, Samsung’s 5.8% market share amassed a total of 1.63 million sales, not coming close to its enormous Android smartphone market share.

Total tablet sales in 2011 increased to 68.7 million from just 19.4 million the year before, and IDC expects that figure to top 106 million in 2012. They also expect iOS to lose its majority share by either the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014, with Android making a slow creep like they did in smartphones. However, Apple’s dominance is never expected to wane in the tablet market as the success of Android smartphones relies on carriers pushing the product, which isn’t possible in the largely carrier- and contract-free tablet environment.

Check out all the details over at IDC.

Source: The Verge

  • Andre

    Where’s the Playbook ?

    • cb

      Exactly.

    • Jim Baseline

      What about QNX or Playbook?

    • TyroneLT

      Outside of Canada,the Playbook obviously hasn’t sold enough to be categorized on its own.

    • noname

      Now it’s clearer why Neflix and others don’t bother making apps for QNX, especially Netflix.
      When you think that the largest market for PlayBook is Canada, where Neflix’ web client, due to various laws, can’t offer its full content compared with other markets (in fact it is very miserable), they know they won’t have enough clients to cover the cost of development, maintenance and support.

    • Dono

      If you check out the link from IDC you’ll see the RIM numbers:

      Blackberry slipped from 1.1% to 0.7%.

    • JUST SAYING

      NO WIDGET?

  • Alex

    yes, finally I see the decline of over rated, over priced Apple products. I’ll enjoy NOT spending 519.99 on a non expandable 16GB tablet.

  • MXM4K

    I’m sure iPad sales have increased over that time. The noteworthy thing is that the tablet market has been growing very fast, so everybody is increasing their sales.

    Regardless of that, I’m glad that not one company is dominant in this sector. More competition is always better for the consumer.

  • bob

    “as the success of Android smartphones relies on carriers pushing the product,”

    So false. Carriers are ruining the Android experience. Slow updates, carrier exclusivity, release 6 months after Europe…

    Android smartphone sell because they have the best hardware.
    This is less true in the tablet market where Apple is much more competitive.

    • Terry

      No, the statement is right.
      Sales for smartphones and tablets often rely heavily on the telecom companies promoting it.

      Unlike us, most people walk into a store not having a clue about anything, thus they depend on the sales people to sell them the right things.
      That obviously is either an Ipad or Android tablet.

      What happens after, like what you pointed out with regards to software updates etc, is another story. But market share is heavily affected by companies pushing products to consumers.

    • bob

      Still, carriers do not especially push for Android devices.
      They even have a special category called “iPhones”, separate from the “smartphone” category. Sounds like a huge iPhone pushing to me. They also often give a larger subsidy on iPhones (although less and less true these days)

      One thing is sure: Android would be doing a lot better without the stupid carriers messing with the phones. In countries where phones can be purchased “naked” (without carrier branding or locking) Android has more success.

    • Tom

      @Terry
      True that the carriers have big influence on ordinary folk, but I see them pushing Apple quite a bit too.

      For one thing, they want Apple customers because Apple customers spend more money, and more freely – see Sprint’s explanation as to why they committed to became a major seller of iPhone and iPads.

      For iPad’s, for example, Apple customers are more likely to get a cellular product and a second cellular account. Android customers are more careful shoppers and are more likely to want a Wi-Fi tablet and to setup tethering on their phone. The carriers don’t want those sorts of customers.

  • Sterling

    wait until we see all the isheep friday morning! PATHETIC!!

  • Jonathan

    I like how the article gives sales figures and relates the IDC articles to these sales figures, especially since the IDC report has NOTHING TO DO WITH SALES!

    These figures are for devices shipped only and has no real bearing on sales or real market power. Just because a company shipped 20M devices doesn’t mean it sells them, as is the case with many Android tablet devices.

    While the iPad’s market shares of shipped devices decreased (which makes sense as the iPad is sparking new tablet devices from OEM’s) that does not mean its true market saturation has declined. This article is very misleading!

    And no I am not an Apple fanboy. I own a SGSII and a Tab 10.1, not an iPhone or iPad.

  • mike

    TY Jonathan. It is so true what you have commented.

  • Sub-Joker

    It’s very normal to go to cheaper alternative if they can do the same as the iPad. I personally don’t think tablets should be priced more than 400 dollars (should range from 200 to 400 or 450 in worst cases).
    I personally got my tablet from kijiji for 240 dollars (moto xoom) which make me feel stupid I bought the Iconia from future shop for 399 + tax before I return it.

    even look at apple, they’re selling the iPad2 for 400 now (a drop by 100 bucks) which means they can lower the price without affecting the revenue. they just post it at 500 to make more profit since ppl are buying it regardless the price.

    and for those taunting the ppl standing in line: most ppl are in line so that they get as many as they can and sell it on ebay or ship it to other countries to make huge profit. iPads are even more expensive outside of North America (like china, and the middle east). I have somebody who offered my friend money if she stay in line with him (since apple limit their sales to 2 iPads per person). It’s business guy… mostly at least.

  • mango_juice

    Wow that’s really bad news for the Playbook. I have to admit I am not an apple fan but there is yet to be a tablet that can compete with them.

  • Mathieu

    “Apple holds onto 54.7% of tablet market share in Q4, while Samsung languishes at 5.8%”
    Should have been:
    “iOS down to 54.7% of tablet market share in Q4, while Android rise up to 44.6%”

    • Dono

      I don’t know if the Kindle should be lumped in with Android. Even Google themselves said Samsung is their highest tablet seller and that the Kindle Fire isn’t a Google device since it does not have google apps or the android market.

    • Stan Lee

      True. And wait till all those cool Nokia/Dell etc Windows 8 tablets arrive and of year. Apple will be at the bottom again for sure.

  • Maestro Trigga

    Samsung is not a high end luxury product that Apple is. Celebrities don’t sport Samsung, they sport Apple. If they stopped charging Apple prices and started charging Playbook prices, then they’ll pick up in sales.

    $400 16GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 vs $420 16GB iPad 2? not a hard decision to make.

    • Tminus

      Sounds like you live in a fantasy world. Only if…. Only if RIM wasnt forced to sell the playbook at a loss to avoid RIP. it’s not hard to see the amount of ppl on this site that choose to put down apple at all costs. The iPad 2 sells at 400$ now and is a good deal, if thats too expensive then pick up a refurb thats pretty much brand new with 1 year warrantee for 349$. If thats too much then by all meens pick up a motorola xoom or kindle fire and have fun with it. Fandroids on this site have excuses for putting down apple at all cost, its pathetic.

  • Dan

    Wait until business users get their hands on a Windows tablets (not ARM, but Intel/AMD) and Apple will start to decline even more. right now the enterprise is struggling with these devices and waiting patiently to see what Microsoft brings to the table!

  • Stuntman

    I’m still waiting for a decent spreadsheet app. All spreadsheet apps I tried on my Transformer suck compared to Excel.

  • Dan

    Excel/Word/Outlook will be the biggest selling features for the windows tablets. Other apps can compete with Word, but nothing competes with Outlook and Excel.

    As someone who has setup a lot of IPads in businesses, I look foward to being able to offer a good alternative solution to the IPAD. Android in businesses is not really an issue right now (I say this using a GNexus and a 3.2 tablet)

  • tbone

    An the BB Playbook is by far the best tablet on the market. One word “multitasking computing” achieved in what the 70’s is still not on the iPad. And the iTURDs remain silent. I wish Apple was attacked as RIM has been on this board.

  • AndroidForLife

    Just wait, you’ll see. People are going to stop talking and start buying anyway now. The Android fan base will wake from their apparent slumber and actually start buying Android tablets instead of just talking about it. Android is going to dominate tablets soon and Sammy will be right there leading the way. Just like with their phones, they will have to sell at a significant loss for a few years to convince people of their real value over Apple, but once the market moves to Android it is unstoppable. Sammy is a giant and can afford to lose billions of dollars and HTC and Moto should be bending over and kissing Sammy’s a*s for taking the hit to grow the Android market with phones and soon with tablets. Any Apple component suppliers should be crapping their pants now with the thought of their single largest customer is going to have to cut down on orders very, very soon in the face of the Android Tablet juggernaut. Some of the might even be forced out of business, boohoo.

    Android Tablets: BRING THE NOISE!!!!!WARRRRR!!!!!

  • jon_d0e

    my friend told me android attracts cheap people.
    I disagree.

  • jason4

    This is good news. SAMSUCK needs to go away with their lame devices. No OS? NO HOPE!…
    iPad PWNAGE every quarter.

  • phox

    lol samsuck, what about the (i)diotPad?
    If a tablet is lacking in specs and samsung can roll out the same thing for less cost I would rather buy it.

    Although Asus is doing much better with the transformer brand.

  • KC

    The forcast makes no sense at all. Windows Phone may be floundering and I don’t expect that to change, but WOA (Windows 8 On ARM) should easily be able to be the number 2 player in Tablets by next tummer and may displace iPad and Android tablets to become the largest over all tablet Platform.

    Metro on phones is a nightmare, but the larger tiles that can present more useful information may have appeal on Tablets – I personally still dislike the whole look of the UI but that’s just my personal view – I do think it will have a greater impact in that space then it ever will in smartphones.

  • Anthony

    I love how analysts think that by 2016 Windows 8 (and other tablets) will have <3% market share. Shows just how out of touch with technology they really are…

    If Windows 8 can compete with Android in hardware and pricing, it could spell a very fast demise for Android in the tablet space. I think most people would opt for a fully functional device with a smooth, touch-centric UI that you can actually replace a laptop with, than something that tries to be an iPad but fails miserably.