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Apple Maintains Tablet Market Share Lead Despite iPad Sales Drop

Apple's recent earnings call revealed that iPad sales continue to decline, with the company shipping only 13.3 million iPads during the third fiscal quarter of 2014 (second calendar quarter), compared to 14.6 million in the year-ago quarter.

Despite the sales drop, Apple continues to be the world's leading tablet vendor, with a total 26.9 percent of the market, according to new numbers from research firm IDC. Samsung retains its number two spot with 8.5 million shipments and a 17.2 percent share, but both major companies have been losing significant ground to companies putting out more affordable tablet devices.

Worldwide tablet shipments in 2Q14 in millions of units (Source: IDC)

Lenovo, for example, saw its share of the tablet market rise from 3.3 percent to 4.9 percent, a 64.7 percent jump. ASUS saw 13.1 percent growth, and the "Others" category, which is comprised of vendors not quite in the top five list, has jumped from a 37 percent share to a 44.4 percent share, an increase of 33.4 percent.

Overall, the worldwide tablet market has grown 11 percent year-over-year, with total tablet shipments of 49.3 million, up from 44.4 million in 2013.

Apple's iPad shipments (red) and share of worldwide tablet shipments (blue) for 2Q11–2Q14 (Source: IDC)
As we indicated last quarter, the market is still being impacted by the rise of large-screen smartphones and longer than anticipated ownership cycles," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC Research Director for Tablets. "We can also attribute the market deceleration to slow commercial adoption of tablets. Despite this trend, we believe that stronger commercial demand for tablets in the second half of 2014 will help the market grow and that we will see more enterprise-specific offerings, as illustrated by the Apple and IBM partnership, come to market."
To date, Apple has sold 225 million iPads and according to Tim Cook, the company isn't worried about declining sales. Cook noted the tablet category is still "in its infancy," and Apple is planning to bring "significant innovation" to the iPad in the future.

iPad sales will likely pick up later this year with the introduction of a second-generation iPad Air and a second-generation Retina iPad mini. Both tablets are expected to include upgraded processors and Touch ID integration. Apple is also expanding its presence in the enterprise tablet market with a new partnership with IBM.

Top Rated Comments

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63 months ago
Samsung finally confesses "we accidentally copied Apple's sales drop. sorry about that guys"
Rating: 11 Votes
63 months ago

umm Others has 37% of the market, I wouldn't say Apple is leading.

I googled it, there is no "Others Inc." must be a typo..
Rating: 9 Votes
63 months ago

In before "Apple reports sold, Samsung (and others) report shipped".

For their press releases, Apple quotes quantity shipped.

Samsung doesn't usually report quantity at all, except when they hit major marks.

These numbers do not represent a decline in "sales." They represent an increase in sales, but a decline in the growth of sales. Please get the journalism right. Thx.

The article clearly points out that it was a decline in sales YoY.

"(Apple) shipping only 13.3 million iPads (...), compared to 14.6 million in the year-ago quarter."

Part of the fallout of the Apple/Samsung trial included the real number of tablets Samsung sold, not the numbers they reported to IDC. (Which IDC lapped up.)

1. Samsung doesn't report to IDC. IDC does their own research.

2. The trial numbers were for US sales only, which were a fraction of the world sales Samsung had reported. Sloppy bloggers mixed them up.

3. Apple themselves quote IDC all the time. In fact, just the other day during the last earnings call, Tim Cook quoted IDC:

"iPad sales met our expectations but we realized they didn’t meet many of yours.

"Our sales were gated in-part by a reduction in channel inventory and in-part by market softness in certain parts of the world.

"For example IDC’s latest estimate indicates a 5% overall decline in the U.S. tablet market, as well as a decline in the Western European tablet market in the June quarter."

- Tim Cook F3Q 2014 call

Basically he gave the same reasons for lower sales that Samsung had recently mentioned, except one half of Samsung's revenue drop was solely due to stronger Korean currency, so the exchange rate made their revenue amount look smaller.
Rating: 6 Votes
63 months ago

With the new Galaxy tab s things may get even worse for IPad.As amoled screen is zilion times superior over Ipad's.:(

Are you serious? After a year they fade, turn yellow, and burn in all over the place.
Rating: 5 Votes
63 months ago

I googled it, there is no "Others Inc." must be a typo..

MacRumors really needs to do something about their fact checking process. This place is going to the dogs
Rating: 4 Votes
63 months ago
I know of no one who owns an Android pad

If I take into account all of my friends, family, business associates I know of no one, zero, zilch, nada who own an android based pad. Phones, yes, pads, no.

So who in the hell own those POS?
Rating: 4 Votes
63 months ago
At this point market share does not really matter anymore. There are so many tablets bring sold at a way cheaper price point than the iPad.

I think apple should only really be worried when they get strong competition in the higher tablet market.
Rating: 3 Votes
63 months ago
umm Others has 37% of the market, I wouldn't say Apple is leading.
Rating: 3 Votes
63 months ago

In my opinion, it is! I have a 4th-gen and an Air. The Air's screen cracked spontaneously after a few months, but the 4th-gen is still in great shape.

"...the Air's screen cracked spontaneously" -- really???

Screens generally don't "crack spontaneously" -- regardless of brand. (Actually, that might happen with one of those cheapo Chinese $49 BOGO Android tablets that seem to be grabbing market share nowadays.) I have yet to hear or read of ANY device's screen cracking spontaneously while it was just sitting there or being used normally.

The more probable cause is that you unknowingly "dropped/sat on/stepped on/crushed/etc. the screen 'spontaneously'" --> and that caused the crack. Or someone else did the damage and didn't tell you about it.

At the very least, bring it in to be checked for a manufacturing defect... That's what a factory warranty is for!
Rating: 3 Votes
63 months ago
In another topic certain people were saying Samsung was going down due to one bad quarter. I brought up sales of Samsung of the previous quarters and they called me a fanboy due to it, because one bad quarter means the end of the world.

I'm sure these people will come too say Apple is doo.................... Oh, who is kidding anyone, they'll either not post or they'll just defend Apple like a good fanboy.
Rating: 2 Votes

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