In IDC’s report released today covering worldwide tablet market for the third quarter, the research firm notes that the market as a whole continues to grow thanks to strong growth from Android tablets. Apple shipments remained steady during the quarter compared to last year at 14 million units in Q3, but its share of the market drops from 40.2% last year to just 29.6% this year as Samsung, Asus, Lenovo, and Acer all post significant growth for the quarter compared to the same quarter last year.
Samsung is up from 12.4% last year to 20.4% of the tablet market in Q3 2013 (a 123% increase), while Asus is up 53.9% to 3.5 million units, Lenovo sold 2.3m (up 420.7%), and Acer 1.2M (up 346.3%):
Samsung once again secured the second position with shipments of about 9.7 million units. The company, which owes a measure of its tablet success to its ability to bundle them with other successful Samsung products, such as smartphones and televisions, grabbed 20.4% of the worldwide market. ASUS, which makes the Nexus 7 for Google, shipped about 3.5 million total units during the quarter for a third place finish and 7.4% market share. PC powerhouse Lenovo moved into the number four tablet spot with shipments of 2.3 million units and a 4.8% share. Finally, Acer rounded out the top five with 1.2 million units shipped and a 2.5% share. Notably, vendors from outside the top five were responsible for over one third of the shipments in 3Q13. IDC tracks dozens of tablet vendors, and this quarter “Others” represents a combination of major vendors (such as Amazon, Microsoft, HP, and Dell) and lesser-known, so-called white box vendors that typically sell ultra-low cost Android devices at often unsustainably low margins.
Speaking of bundling its tablets with smartphones, Samsung is currently offering a free 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 through AT&T with the purchase of a Galaxy S4 or Note 3.
Making up the rest of the market, around 35.3%, is the other category with 16.8M units during the quarter. Those tablets consist of many unauthorized and inexpensive Android tablets as well as tablets from Amazon, Microsoft, HP, and Dell.
We’ll have to wait to see numbers from the current quarter to see if Apple’s launch of new iPad models will help it increase its lead during the fourth quarter. It’s bound to gain back some of its market share with sales of the new iPad Air and Retina iPad mini, but Android tablets have been gaining every quarter. Last year Apple had over 40% market share in Q4.
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