GADGET DESIGNER Apple's tablet market share slipped during the third quarter as competition from tablets running Google's Android mobile operating system intensified.
According to a report by International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple's share of the tablet market fell 15.1 percent from 65.5 percent in the second quarter to 50.4 percent in the third quarter. However, despite the decline Apple still kept the lead, shipping 14 million Ipads globally in the third quarter alone.
IDC said the surge of Android tablets was led by Samsung, driven by its Galaxy Tab and Note 10.1 devices, shipping 5.1 million tablets during the quarter. Amazon, Asus, and Lenovo were the next biggest sellers, shifting 2.5 million, 2.4 million and 0.4 million tablets respectively in the third quarter.
Although Apple saw a decline in its market share, IDC put this down to consumers waiting for new Ipad models, including the Ipad Mini.
IDC's research director for tablets Tom Mainelli said, "We believe a sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new Ipad Mini.
"Now that the new Mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized Ipad, are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter."
However, Mainelli believes that the Ipad Mini's relatively high £269 starting price "leaves plenty of room" for Android vendors to build upon the success they achieved in the third quarter.
IDC said the tablet market grew 49.5 percent year on year, with the the top five non-Apple vendors all seeing higher shipment volumes. Samsung saw 325 percent growth while Asus, which makes the Google Nexus 7, saw growth of 243 percent. µ