Despite global patent wars, tablet sales up by 264 percent

Summary:Even with a global patent spat between Apple and Samsung, the tablet market looks healthy, though not quite reaching market expectations.

Research firm IDC revealed that during the third-quarter ending September 30th, just over 18 million tablets shipped worldwide.

Growing by 23.9 percent on the second-quarter from the third-quarter of 2010, it shows a massive 264 percent increase.

But today's figures did not rise to the 19.2 million worldwide shipments expected by the research firm, indicating that the tablet sector did not perform as well as it could have done.

Arguably, had the Galaxy Tab been available in the barred regions of Germany and Australia, perhaps the figure would have allowed the market to reach industry expectations.

(Source: CBS News)

As many expected, Apple took the global crown by shipping 11.1 million units, IDC estimates, holding on to its majority stake of 61.5 percent, down slightly from the previous quarter.

Samsung secured second place way behind at 5.6 percent of the global marketshare, even though its Galaxy Tab sales suffered at the hands of Apple's lawyers and courtroom drama.

HP's TouchPad, amidst a firesale earlier this year and an uncertain future, managed to grab third place after selling just over 900,000 units, securing 5 percent of the market.

It should not surprise many that the TouchPad gained such popularity after it was boltgunned in the sheds behind HP's headquarters earlier this year. The company reduced the price to $99 for the cheapest model to clear its inventory, and was put on sale again earlier this month to help clear remaining stock.

Barnes & Noble surprisingly came in fourth place with 4.4 percent of the global tablet market. Figures today show that the range of Nook tablets released earlier this year helped push the part-bookstore part-tablet seller into the top five global manufacturers.

But the company reported second-quarter losses in the third quarter ending October 29th. The losses were unexpected, but the range of Nook products helped the company recoup.

But Android's share will make a "dramatic share gain" in the fourth-quarter in the run up to the holiday season, growing to just over 40 percent. Amazon's Kindle Fire will help the Google-owned mobile operating system flourish even further, though with the Nook tablet to a lesser extent.

This is expected to push the BlackBerry tablet operating system down by nearly half to 0.7 percent, iOS down from 61.5 percent to 59 percent, and webOS reduced to "no marketshare" at all. IDC notes that amid HP's decision to serve webOS to the open-source community last week, it does not foresee the tablet and smartphone capable operating system reappearing in the media tablet market "in any meaningful way going forward".

By the end of 2011, with Thanksgiving just gone and Christmas around the corner, a total of 63 million tablets could land in stores. Whether consumers will continue the growth pattern is yet to be seen.

Related:

Topics: Laptops, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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