Home Your IT Mobility Apple's iPad takes 95% of tablet market in 3Q10

Research firm Strategy Analytics says Apple took 95% of the 4.4 million unit worldwide tablet market, while another firm finds unusually high satisfaction ratings among iPad owners.


"Global tablet shipments grew 26 percent sequentially to reach 4.4 million units in Q3 2010," said Peter King, Director at Strategy Analytics. "Apple was the clear market leader during the quarter, capturing an impressive 95 percent share with the iPad and beating Android into second place."

All the remaining platforms put together could only equal Android's 2.3% market share (which was down from 2.9% in the previous quarter). The firm predicts a higher share for Android during the fourth quarter as more models - including the Samsung Galaxy Tab - hit the market.

Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics, said "The tablet wars are up and running. Apple has quickly leveraged its famous brand, an extensive retail presence and user-friendly design to develop the tablet segment into a multi-billion-dollar global business. Android, Microsoft, MeeGo, webOS, BlackBerry and other platforms are trailing in Apple's wake and they already have much ground to make up."

It can be argued that Apple was the first company to design a tablet that people actually wanted to buy, and now that a model has been established other vendors will be able to chip away at its lead. But with the market growing so rapidly (26% from 2Q to 3Q10), a company in Apple's leading position can afford to lose share yet still increase unit sales and profits. The trick is to lose share sufficiently slowly to avoid being seen as becoming irrelevant.

Another issue is that according to Strategy Analytics, the US "was by far the world's largest tablet market during the quarter", and Apple has traditionally been strong in its home market. Other brands may benefit from the building demand in Europe and Asia.

But there's another reason for expecting iPad sales to remain strong - see page 2.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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