IDC on tablet market in Q3: Android up, iPad down, Windows struggling

Summary:Nevertheless, even without new tablets shipped during the third quarter, Apple was still the top vendor worldwide.


Following up its latest figures on the worldwide software industry , the IDC posted an update about a vertical that only seems to grow: tablets.

The short story to IDC's third quarter report on the global tablet vendor scene is this: Android shipments were up, iPad shipments were down, and Windows just continues to "struggle to win over consumers".

In fact, analysts heralded Android as the primary growth driver for the total market over the three-month period, up seven percent sequentially and 36.7 percent annually.

Android's boost was helped by a number of factors, starting with its ecosystem that typically gets lambasted for being too fragmented. Still, the combination of heavy-hitting vendors such as Samsung and Amazon, among many others, doesn't seem to hurt any more.

Samsung alone came in second on the vendor score sheet with 20.4 percent of the global market by shipping approximately 9.7 million units during the quarter. Nexus 7-maker ASUS grabbed 7.4 percent of the pie with 3.5 million units.

The "Others" category (which IDC analysts hinted contained most of the Windows-based devices) accounted for 35.3 percent of the total market, down 38.8 percent year-over-year.

Nevertheless, even without new tablets shipped during the third quarter, Apple was still the top vendor worldwide.

The iPad maker shipped 14.1 million units in Q3, down from 14.6 million at the same time last year. But more importantly, Apple's market share one year ago was 40.2 percent.

As of the end of the third quarter, it only stood at 29.6 percent.

But once again, it must be noted that Apple didn't have any new product reveals until last week. With the iPad Air hitting stores on Friday and the iPad mini with Retina display promised for November, the fourth quarter will be a shake-up compared to this report.

IDC research analyst Jitesh Ubrani maintained optimism for Apple in the Q3 report, highlighting that prices are going up across the board for premium devices.

With two 7.9-inch models starting at $299 and $399, and two 9.7-inch models starting at $399 and $499, Apple is taking steps to appeal to multiple segments. While some undoubtedly hoped for more aggressive pricing from Apple, the current prices clearly reflect Apple's ongoing strategy to maintain its premium status. It's worth noting that Apple wasn't the only one to increase the price of its small-sized tablet during this product cycle: Both Google and Amazon increased the price of their newest 7-inch tablets from $199 to $229 to cover the higher costs associated with high resolution screens and better processors.

Chart via IDC

Further reading

Topics: Mobility, Android, iPad, Tablets, Windows


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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