Tablet Market Share in Q3: iPads market share lead cutting

According to the newest data from International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple’s iPad continued to be the best seller, and occupied 61% of the worldwide tablet PC market share in the Q3. However, Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook tablet are predicted to knock a big chunk out of that gap in just the fourth quarter of 2011. IDC shows that worldwide media tablet shipments into sales channels rose by 23.9% on a sequential basis in the third calendar quarter of 2011 to 18.1 million units. iPad accounted for 61% of the third quarter market, with 11.1 million units shipped in the quarter, up from 9.3 million in the second quarter. Its market share fell from 68% in the previous quarter.

Android’s worldwide tablet market share declined in the third quarter, from 33.2% in the second quarter to 32.4%. But the shipment grew from 3.6million units to 6.0 million units. IDC’s research director for mobile connected devices, Tom Mainelli pointed out that Android’s market share will grow over 40% in the forth quarter by the strong sales of Kindle Fire and Barnes & Nobel Nook tablets.

Even so this will make Android success, but it would not be so helpful to Google, which gives Android OS software away for free to earn much money by selling apps and advertizing. However, both Amazon and Barnes & Noble use “forked” versions of Android and use its own apps store service, and transpose Google’s core apps such as Google map and YouTube. So Google gets no financial benefit from these tablets.

IDC also predicted that the forth quarter will be the best season for tablets of the year. The shipment will grow up to 23.6 million unites, which would be equivalent to more than 25% of the quarter’s expected PC sales, at the same time, it would be greater than 18 million unites tablets shipped in 2010.

IDC raised its forecast shipment for the number of tablet shipped in 2011 for the second quarter in a row: it raised it from 53.5 million units to 62.5 million units, and at present it raised it again to 63.3 million units. Even though the shipment in the third quarter fell 5% short of its earlier forecast 19.2million unites.

The third quarter was not a perfect season for any individual Android tablet. Samsung led the field with 5.6% market share, shipped about 1 million units. HP’s TouchPad occupied 5% shard with shipment of 903,000 unites. RIM’s Playbook shipped 199,000 unites with 1.1% share, other 5 million unites Android tablets shipped by other suppliers.

Mainelli said that Amazon and Barnes & Noble are impacting the media tablet market. Their success proves that there is a great need for media tablets beyond iPad, he forecasted that Apple will break the new sales record in the forth quarter.

Mainelli also forecasted that there will be great changes with the tablet market in 2011, and iPad will face a new competition pressure. “We can see in the future that Apple products will be taken place by other non-consumer market, especially in the enterprise and education markets.” said Mainelli.

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