Apple's share of tablet market drops to record low

After a full fiscal year without a new iPad release, Apple still leads the global tablet market -- but it's quickly losing ground.

By Benzinga Oct 29, 2013 1:40PM

iPads at a store. Copyright Rajanish Kakade/APBy Louis Bedigian

Apple's (AAPL) share of the tablet market continues to plummet despite a slight increase in iPad sales.

During the fiscal 2013 fourth quarter (ended September 28, 2013), Apple sold 14.1 million iPads -- a slight increase over the 14 million units it sold during the year-ago period.

This means that Apple was able to maintain last year's iPad sales growth even without the release of a new tablet. Apple released the third-generation iPad in time for the fiscal 2012 fourth quarter, but it did not unveil a single new tablet in 2013 until after the fiscal fourth quarter was over.

Now that the new iPads have been unveiled, Apple should be able to meet or beat the record-breaking sales (22.9 million iPads) of the fiscal 2013 first quarter.

With all this growth (and growth maintenance), investors might expect Apple to maintain its position within the tablet market. And Apple has shown significant strength in the education tablet market.

That has not been the case in the broader consumer marketplace, however. According to market intelligence firm TrendForce, Apple only commanded 31.8 percent of the tablet market during the September quarter. This is a historical new low for the company, which has steadily dominated the tablet market since the first iPad was released.

Apple still leads the global tablet market, but Samsung (SSNLF) is quickly catching up. TrendForce's data shows that Samsung shipped 10.5 million tablets during the September quarter. While it is unclear how many of those units were actually sold, TrendForce estimated that the company's market share arrived at 23.7 percent.

Google (GOOG), which sells the Nexus 7 tablet that's manufactured by Asus (AKCPF), came in third place with 2.1 million units and a 4.7 percent share. Lenovo (LNVGY) shipped 1.6 million units and attained 3.6 percent of the market. And Amazon (AMZN) rounded out the top five with 1.4 million units and a 3.2 percent share.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

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Oct 29, 2013 2:53PM
So. You can say the same about Lexus or Infinity. Quality is more important than quantity. Oh and don't forget that little thing called profit.
Oct 29, 2013 3:21PM
Expensive useless toys in a World where folks aren't making a living Wage isn't a recipe for a long time to come. Lucky for Apple, they hit the sweet spot in Economic History. That clearly can't last forever.
Oct 29, 2013 2:32PM
Oh, gee!  Yet another AAPL sky is falling story.  Who made the market in the first place?  A slight decrease in share in the huge market APPL created is not a signing the sky is falling.  Same is true for the iPhone.  Look at their bottom line folks!  They are still the leaders and will be for a long time to come.  I wish I had bucks to buy more of their stock today from all you folks who don't have a clue about the real worth of AAPL.
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