Do you remember back in September when IDC predicted Android tablets would not see any significant growth in the share of the market that they command? IDC probably hopes you have forgotten that in light of their report today showing some significant changes in the tablet market during the third quarter of 2012. Perhaps the most stunning change was the worldwide market share for Apple devices, which slipped from a commanding 65.5% of the market in the second quarter to 50.4% in the third quarter. IDC attributes some of this to consumers holding off on purchases amidst rumors of the iPad mini. A bounce back is expected during the fourth quarter, but may be hampered by the iPad mini’s relatively high purchase price.
Apple’s loss was Android’s gain as Samsung, Amazon, Asus and Lenovo all saw their share grow compared to both the 2012 second quarter and year-over-year. Samsung saw shipments improve from 1.2 million units during the 2011 third quarter to 5.1 million units this year. Samsung now commands 18.4% of the tablet market.
Overall, the tablet market continues to grow, up 49.5% compared to a year ago and up 6.7% compared to last quarter.
The question now is whether the third quarter is just a blip and we see Apple return to controlling almost two-thirds of the market or will Android based devices continue their march to dominance?