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Apple's Share of Tablet Market Sees Slight Holiday Quarter Boost

Following its mobile phone report earlier this week, research firm IDC has published its estimates of tablet shipments for the fourth quarter of 2013, showing that Apple continues to lead the market with roughly one-third of all shipments.

idc_4Q13_tablets
Worldwide tablet shipments in 4Q13 in millions of units (Source: IDC)

Apple's share of the market has generally declined over the past two years amid the proliferation of low-cost Android tablets, particularly unbranded "whitebox" devices in the Chinese market. The holiday quarter with refreshed iPads did, however, allow Apple to raise its share of the market to 33.8 percent from 29.7 percent in the previous quarter.
Apple once again led the worldwide market for tablets, shipping 26 million units during the quarter, up from 14.1 million the previous quarter and 22.9 million in 4Q12. While the quarter represented the company's most successful on record, its year-over-year growth of 13.5% was well below the industry average. The numbers bring into focus the challenges the company faces as it attempts to grow its tablet business in markets outside of its traditional mature-market strongholds and in the face of continued success from competitors both large and small.

Apple saw its worldwide tablet market share for the quarter grow to 33.8%, up from 29.7% in the third quarter but down from its 38.2% share in the fourth quarter of 2012.
idc_4Q13_tablets_trend
Apple's iPad shipments (red) and share of worldwide tablet shipments (blue) for 2Q11–4Q13 (Source: IDC)

As always, it is important to note that IDC's numbers track shipments instead of sales, and thus how many shipped devices are making their way into consumers' hands remains unclear. IDC's figures are also estimates, as most companies do not release their exact tablet shipment data and thus research firms must rely on supply chain data and calculations from information that is made public by manufacturers to build their estimates.

Related roundups: iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3

Top Rated Comments

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11 months ago

Yeah… and around here there were all sorts of promotions going on… Buy a Samsung phone and get a tablet for free… by a Samsung TV and get a tablet for free… sneeze and say "Samsung" at the same time and get a tablet for free. :)


This is a tired excuse.

Because NEVER has the iPhone 5s or 5c or 4s or 4 been offered for free. (http://www.idownloadblog.com/2014/01/02/best-buy-iphone-5s-125usd-iphone-5c-free/)

Or here. (http://venturebeat.com/2013/09/16/want-a-new-iphone-5s-or-32gb-5c-for-free-sprint-may-have-an-offer-you-cant-refuse/)

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...I've not see the other 66% in the wild. Not where I usually visit. Must be where I live?


It must be.

On college campuses, it's all iPads.

Everywhere else I travel, the coffee shop, various network TV stations, PEG TV stations, etc., it's all Android and Windows tablets.

Then again, most of my industry is PC based.
Rating: 5 Votes
11 months ago

Must be the area where I live. All I see are iPads, on planes, meetings, social events. Very few of the others.

Maybe it's shipped vs. sold & use.


The vast majority of tablets never go further than the home or car. Most are family consumption devices.

Shipped vs sold has been debunked thoroughly on this site. The majority of what people call Apple's "sold" number is in fact shipped. The only sales that Apple counts to end user are online, in Apple stores, and some education. So shipped vs sold is not a factor.
Rating: 5 Votes
11 months ago

Samsung starting to kick some butt in the tablet market! 85%!? Damn


Yeah… and around here there were all sorts of promotions going on… Buy a Samsung phone and get a tablet for free… by a Samsung TV and get a tablet for free… sneeze and say "Samsung" at the same time and get a tablet for free. :)

Not to say they don't have a good solution, but there was tons of promotions going on over the holidays that put a these in customers hands at a low to no cost. I wonder how much money they actually made in this segment?
Rating: 4 Votes
11 months ago
I can't trust IDC anymore. Lmao
Rating: 4 Votes
11 months ago

Must be the area where I live. All I see are iPads, on planes, meetings, social events. Very few of the others.

Maybe it's shipped vs. sold & use.


Yes. There are massive warehouses in the midwest where Samsung and others are storing tablets to make the market share numbers look better on macrumors.
Rating: 4 Votes
11 months ago

Definitely feel that the "iPad Pro" and the next generation iPad Air/Mini will help with growth. Can't wait for TouchID as part of the next iPad and I'm in!


i cant see most people using touchID for the ipad. i know that i dont even use any buttons on my ipad. i use the smart case to sleep/wake and the five finger pinch to close apps. plus i dont even use a password.
Rating: 3 Votes
11 months ago
Samsung starting to kick some butt in the tablet market! 85%!? Damn
Rating: 3 Votes
11 months ago
I think I missed the part where competitors like Samsung actually announced their unit sales numbers.... oh wait, no I didn't, that never happened. All we know is that Samsung sold a total of 100M "Galaxy Devices" including low-end devices with the name "Galaxy" on them.
Rating: 3 Votes
11 months ago

This is a tired excuse.

Because NEVER has the iPhone 5s or 5c or 4s or 4 been offered for free. (http://www.idownloadblog.com/2014/01/02/best-buy-iphone-5s-125usd-iphone-5c-free/)

Or here. (http://venturebeat.com/2013/09/16/want-a-new-iphone-5s-or-32gb-5c-for-free-sprint-may-have-an-offer-you-cant-refuse/)

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It must be.

On college campuses, it's all iPads.

Everywhere else I travel, the coffee shop, various network TV stations, PEG TV stations, etc., it's all Android and Windows tablets.

Then again, most of my industry is PC based.


And the iPad Air was on promotion during the Christmas season too.
Rating: 2 Votes
11 months ago

I think I missed the part where competitors like Samsung actually announced their unit sales numbers.... oh wait, no I didn't, that never happened. All we know is that Samsung sold a total of 100M "Galaxy Devices" including low-end devices with the name "Galaxy" on them.


Yep, back in 2011 Samsung wisely announced they will no longer be sharing these kinds of sales figures, coincidentally right around the time they dropped the word "android" from any of their marketing materials.

Samsung wants the public to assume all of their phone sales were flagship models competing directly with the iPhone, but in reality they were mostly 2.3 devices sold to emerging markets.

These activations contribute significantly to android's global marketshare numbers, but end users in third world countries with little purchasing power don't benefit app developers or even advertisers very much, do they?
Rating: 2 Votes

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