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

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

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  • Once again it must be noted that ...

    Apple lost 10.6% share year over year, dropping from 40.2% to 29.6%. Yes this will mirror the Mac market share sooner rather than later.
    • The expanding market is in 3rd world countries

      Where people are skipping desktops and going straight to tablets and smartphones. That's where cheap Android tablets are being sold. That is not Apple's market and it should not be!
  • Yep

    It is getting to the point where Android is about to reach Critical Mass for Tablets and yet, Google has broken the OS with the 4.2 and 4.3 updates so I bet they give back many gains in coming years but it won't be Apple that gets them back... It will likely be Microsoft and yet, that's the one company I haven't been supporting for phones or tablets.
    • Curious

      What would "Critical Mass" look like?

      Though I gather from you that it was alllllll-most there and now it's out of reach, like Gatsby's green light across the bay.

      Though — and perhaps I take your metaphor too literally — it is still there, only now it's not Gatsby but Microsoft Nick who will not be borne ceaselessly back, a boat against the current. Hang on, that doesn't work.


      So, you're saying somehow it's a problem for Apple that Critical Mass is missed because Microsoft picks up the Android share that Android's failure to crit-mass (by, uh, updating their os?) puts back on the table.

      And yet Android, which isn't really a product, was going gangbusters without critical mass.

      Got to say, I don't know understand what your hypothesis or prediction here would be. Maybe Critical Mass was the white whale and I had better brush up on Moby Dick.
      • Apologies

        Next to last sentence was incompletely edited. I would prefer "I don't understand" to be read and I beg everyone's pardon.
  • Other than Apple

    this is a breakdown of vendors not os? I for one bought a Samsung windows 8 tablet. According to this analysis you're counting all of Samsung, Lenovo, ASUS, AMD Acer as android only?
    Sam Wagner
    • Sorry

      *and Acer
      Sam Wagner
    • Exactly!

      Just recently there was a ZDnet article about how Acers Android and ChromeOS devices were declining. Yet somehow they are gaining in marketshare?

      I do think some companies are seeing gains from Windows tablets, but the last generation was still to expensive to really compete. The few I have seen releasing this month look to be much better suited to compete.
  • Plan is solid, execution is flawless...

    My rep and I just today were out and about with our Surface 2's, complete with keyboard and docking station. We set up shop at Starbucks with a series of extension cords and USB cables and before you knew it, I was performing another "resource action" with Microsoft Office 2013 just as if I was in my office. After I hit send we kicked back the Surface's kickstand and searched for apps...
    Mike Cox
    • The More Things Change...

      the more they stay the same.

      Haven't crossed paths with you for awhile, but great to see you two still have the sibling BRF/BCF bracelets.
  • Minor, but is Apple volume going down a mistake?

    In the article it's said that Apple went from 14.6M last year 3rd quarter to 14.1M this year - but the table shows 14.0M last year, to 14.1M this year, an increase. Is that just a mistake, Rachel? Or is there other data you're accessing?
  • Size of Android "grey market" in Other?

    Is there any breakout of the other category that would indicate the size of the Android grey market? There's some fairly good-sized rocks in that category (Archos, etc.) then scads of garagebands that together sell sold something like 8 - 9M/quarter in 2012 - be interesting to see how that market has grown.