Consumer Electronics

Apple iPad Loses Half Its Market Share: The Rise of Android Tablets

The world knows that the tablet market has disrupted the PC market, and most of us expect that this trend will only remain in place. IDC has released its second-quarter review of market share, and the lack of a product refresh cycle is changing the demographics of the tablet market handily. What is so interesting here is not just that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has maintained the number one spot on vendors. What really stands out is that Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is winning from its lower priced Android operating system, and that Apple’s total market share has been cut almost in half over the past year.

IDC data showed that tablet growth slowed in the second quarter of 2013, and it also experienced a sequential decline as total volumes fell by almost 10% from the first quarter of 2013. Some 45.1 million units shipped in the second quarter, and while down sequentially, that was still up 59.6% from the same quarter in 2012.

The culprit is said to be the lack of a new iPad launch, creating lower-than-predicted shipments of 14.6 million units for the quarter. This was down from 19.5 million in the first quarter. Apple probably cannot keep launching newer and newer versions of its iPad, but its drop in market share was massive. Apple’s next iPad launch is expected in the second half of the year.

The next two top vendors also saw a decline in their unit shipments in the second quarter. Samsung shipped 8.1 million units, down sequentially from 8.6 million in the first quarter of 2013 but up exponentially from the 2.1 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2012. ASUS was in third place and shipped 2.0 million units in the second quarter, versus 2.6 million units in the first quarter.

IDC’s Tom Mainelli said:

A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors. With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that’s likely to continue into the third quarter. However, by the fourth quarter we expect new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to drive impressive growth in the market.

Not all vendors saw a slowdown. Lenovo and Acer both came back into the top five in the second quarter. Lenovo passed the 1 million unit mark for the first time, and Acer shipped 1.4 million tablets in the second quarter. IDC maintains that the remaining vendors are still figuring out which platform strategy will be successful over the long run, but Android from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) has been far more successful than the Windows 8 platform from Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT). Despite the problems of the Surface not taking off, IDC did point out that the Windows 8 products are “starting to make notable progress into the market.”

Here are the IDC charts showing 1) the drop in Apple’s market share in the second quarter of 2013 versus 2012, and 2) the market share increase in Android versus iOS.