Apple's dominant tablet market share being nibbled by Amazon, others

Apple has seen great times and especially off late with the success of the iPad tablet and iPhone line of phones. But, things aren’t always going to get better or stay this way, it appears. As more and more competitors enter the tablet space, their market share continues to shrink. A report by IHS iSupply states that Apple’s market share shrunk from 64 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to 57 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Apple shipped some 15.4 million iPads in the last quarter of last year. Competing products, such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook, along with other low priced tablets have forced customers to consider other options for the ever popular, iPad.

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Of all of the products, Apple was its own biggest enemy. The iPhone 4S was launched and customers had to choose between the iPhone 4S and the iPad. Although, it means Apple still earned, there might have been some loss in market share in the tablets category. Amazon managed to ship 3.9 million Kindle Fire in the fourth quarter of 2011 and it makes up for some 14 percent of market share at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011. Samsung, however took the second spot in the market share as 6.1 million of Galaxy Tab tablets were shipped - some 9.4 percent of the overall market share in the whole of 2011. Amazon’s share in comparison was 6 percent.

Apple may be able to make up for the drop in market share, as their next big tablet - possibly the iPad 3 will launch sometime before the end of second quarter of 2011. IHS Suppli says that Apple will build their iPad 3 around a Retina display with a resolution of 2048x1536. There’s also said to be support for Siri, Apple’s voice command interface that was introduced with the iPhone 4S. At the end of last year, some 65.2 million tablets were sold. There’s bound to be fierce competition this year as Microsoft’s Windows 8-based tablets launch.