The iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 release dates are looking more critical in market-share stakes than ever before…
Apple’s iPad is still happily occupying the number-one position at the top of the tablet PC market, but Android is steadily nibbling away at its lead practically by the day.
During the course of Q4 2012, Apple sold in excess of 22.9 million iPads on a global basis, of which the vast majority were sales of the newly released iPad Mini and the iPad 4. The figures therefore came in right in line with analyst projections, representing a massive jump of 48.1% over the year prior.
However, the news isn’t all good for the Cupertino collective as while sales were indeed up, the iPad’s overall global market share fell once again. As of Q4 last year, the iPad accounted for 43.6% of the global tablet PC market, which is considerably lower than the 46.4% of Q3 2012 and far behind the 51.7% of Q4 2011.
By contrast, second-place Samsung sold a comparatively paltry 8 million Android tablets, which works out as a whopping 263% increase over the same period the year before. This also saw the South Korean firm’s market share increase from 7.3% to 15.1% over the same 12-month period.
Third-place was taken by Amazon with its Kindle Fire range, shipping a total of 6 million tablets and taking 11.5% of the market.
Microsoft’s Surface RT Tablet didn’t even come close to breaking into the top-five with around 900,000 unit sales – a problem analysts expect to continue with the Surface Pro launch next month, unless Microsoft can significantly lower the prices of both.
What all of the above amounts to for Apple is a situation where for the first time the iPad has genuine competition from multiple corners, rather than a scattering a poor-quality iPad-impersonators. As such, the Cupertino company has little choice other than to step up its game and offer something truly defining for 2013 iPad launches, or risk losing out to Android rivals
The iPad Mini 2 and iPad 5 release dates are both rumored for March, with further refreshes expected in the fall.