January 31st, 2011

Apple’s share of the tab­let mar­ket drops to 77%

Des­pite impress­ive sales of the iPad, Apple saw its tab­let mar­ket share drop from 95 per­cent to 77 per­cent, in the last quarter of 2010, as ship­ments of Google Android-​based tab­lets star­ted to chip away at the company’s lead, accord­ing to a report by research firm Strategy Analytics.

Sales of the first com­pet­it­ors to Apple’s iPad have begun to take off, res­ult­ing in the com­bined mar­ket share for tab­lets run­ning the Google Android OS increas­ing nearly ten­fold in the last quarter of 2010, said Strategy Analytics.

Last quarter, the firm repor­ted that Apple, with almost no ser­i­ous com­pet­i­tion, held 95 per­cent of the tab­let mar­ket, with Android tab­lets rep­res­ent­ing just 2.3 per­cent of the market.

Apple repor­ted record sales of 7.3 mil­lion iPads in the last quarter of 2010, while Android ship­ments jumped from just 100,000 units to 2.1 mil­lion, accord­ing to the report.

The Sam­sung Galaxy Tab was the main driver of Android suc­cess,” said Neil Maw­ston, dir­ector at Strategy Ana­lyt­ics. “Tab­let makers like Android because of its per­ceived low cost and an accom­pa­ny­ing range of com­pel­ling media ser­vices such as You­Tube and Google Maps.”

Sam­sung announced that sales of the Galaxy Tab had reached 600,000 in its first month and 2 mil­lion tab­lets in the whole of the fourth quarter.

Tablet Wars: iOS vs. AndroidApple will face fur­ther com­pet­i­tion later this year when Motorola and Research in Motion launch tab­lets of their own. And Google releases a ver­sion of the Android OS named ‘Hon­ey­comb’ — reportedly built spe­cific­ally for tab­let devices.

Black­Berry maker RIM is work­ing on the Play­Book 7-​inch tab­let, which, like Motorola’s Xoom, is due for launch by the end of the first quarter of 2011. How­ever, a recent sur­vey by the Royal Bank of Canada sug­gests that pre­launch interest in the Play­Book is well behind that of the iPad.

Apple itself is rumoured to be pre­par­ing to launch the iPad 2 in April 2010, which is widely expec­ted to include front and back cam­eras and an improved screen and performance.

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