Skip to Content

Competitors Challenge Apple’s Grip on the Tablet Market

Apple still holds a strong lead, but new data shows that Android tablets are gaining in popularity.
November 5, 2012

New data from IDC suggest that Apple’s dominance of the global tablet computer market may be giving way. Competing tablet makers, led by Samsung, gained substantial ground during the third quarter of 2012.

Apple’s market share dropped from 65 percent in the second quarter to just over 50 percent in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Samsung’s share doubled to 18 percent, and Amazon and Asus each saw their share rise from under five percent to around nine percent.

As is evident from the graph above, it’s too early to tell how quickly the market is diversifying. Apple’s lag was at least partly due to rumors about its plans to release the iPad Mini, which led some consumers to hold off on buying a new iPad, according to IDC. Now that the Mini is out, analysts expect Apple to have a strong fourth quarter.

The iPad Mini’s $329 starting price, however, is well above that of many Android tablets, which is why IDC’s analysts believe there is “plenty of room for Android vendors to build upon the success they achieved in the third quarter.”

Android-powered smartphones are already more popular than Apple’s iPhone in the U.S. as well as other countries, like China (See How the Chinese Smartphone Market Shapes the Battle for Global Dominance).

Keep Reading

Most Popular

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.

Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.

Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.

AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.

What’s next for AI in 2024

Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.