Tablet Rivals Gain On iPad In Q3

Samsung and other Android-based device makers grabbed more share in the global tablet market in the third quarter as Apple held back release of the latest iPad models until November.
With a slight dip in iPad shipments from a year ago to 14.1 million, Apple saw its once dominant share in the category fall to 29.6% from 40.2% in the year-earlier period, according to a new IDC report. Sales were clearly affected by consumers awaiting the arrival of the fifth-generation iPad and iPad Mini 2, which begin rolling out Nov. 1.
Apple decided in late 2012 to move its product launches from earlier in the year to the fourth quarter, giving competitors an opening to gain more ground in the tablet race.
Samsung took full advantage, with its tablet shipments more than doubling in the quarter to 9.7 million units, or 20.4% of the market. That’s up from 12.4% a year ago. Asus, which makes Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, claimed 7.4% share on shipments of 7.4 million devices. L
Lenovo increased its share fourfold from a year ago to 4.8%, with 2.3 million shipments, while Acer rounded out the top five with 1.2 million units, and a 2.5% share. Other vendors including Microsoft, Amazon and Dell accounted for more than a third (35.3%) of the market.
Even with iPad sales slowing in the quarter, overall tablet shipments grew 36.7% from a year ago, and 7% from the prior quarter. As in the smartphone market, demand for cheaper Android devices from lesser-known vendors like Kurio and Tabeo is helping to boost tablet sales worldwide.
By contrast, Windows-based tablets have yet to catch on with consumers. Microsoft hopes to turn things around with the latest versions of its Surface tablets launched earlier this month. But those will now compete directly with the new iPad Air and updated iPad Mini, which are expected to enjoy strong sales in the fourth quarter.
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