IDC: Tablet Growth Slows, iPad Loses Share to Samsung

The tablet category, after initial dominance by Apple, appears to be changing. A new report from industry research firm IDC points to slower growth in the first quarter of this year, a slight drop in market share for Apple's iPad, and a significant increase in Samsung's share.

The IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker measures both tablets and 2-in-1s, or hybrid laptop/tablets. Together, their shipments dropped more than a third from the previous holiday quarter and grew only 3.9 percent compared with the same quarter last year.

Tom Mainelli, IDC program vice president for devices and displays, said in a statement that "the rise of large-screen phones and consumers who are holding on to their existing tablets for ever-longer periods of time were both contributing factors to a weaker-than-anticipated quarter for tablets and 2-in-1s." He also noted that "commercial growth has not been robust enough to offset the slowing of consumer shipments."

Samsung Coming on Strong

Apple still leads, having shipped 16.4 million units in the quarter, which is down from 26 million units in the previous holiday quarter and also significantly below the 19.5 million units in the same quarter of 2013. Although the units sold was a lower number, Apple's market share only dipped slightly from 33.2 percent in the previous quarter to 32.5 percent.

But the more worrisome factor for Apple is that Samsung continues to come on strong, going from 17.2 percent last quarter to 22.3 percent in this quarter. IDC noted that Samsung is working "aggressively with carriers to drive tablet shipments through attractively priced smartphone bundles."

After Apple and Samsung, the remaining manufacturers in the top five were Asus at 5 percent, Lenovo at 4.1 percent and Amazon at 1.9 percent. Although Amazon's Kindle is perceived as a hit, its market share has actually dropped by 47 percent year-over-year, going from...

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