Apple maintains dominance of global tablet market with 58% share in Q4 2011

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


Shipments of 15.4 million iPads in the fourth quarter of calendar 2011 gave Apple a commanding 58 percent of the market, while Amazon's Kindle Fire helped heat up Android tablet shipments to a record 39 percent, according to one analysis.



Strategy Analytics released on Thursday the results of its latest research for the tablet market in the December quarter. The data showed global shipments jumped up to an all-time high of 27 million units during the period, up 150 percent from 10.7 million in the year ago quarter.



"Demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users remains strong," said Peter King, Director at the market research firm, adding that "Apple shrugged off the much-hyped threat from entry-level Android models this quarter.”



Apple stunned Wall Street on Tuesday when it announced record sales of 15.43 million iPads, a 111 percent increase year over year. The analyst consensus leading up to Apple's announcement of its quarterly results had stood at 13.5 million.



Though some industry watchers had predicted that Amazon's Kindle Fire, which came out in November, would affect sales of the iPad, Apple executives said there had been no "obvious effect" of the device on sales of its own tablet.





Shipments refer to sell-in. Numbers are rounded. The definition of tablet does not include e-book readers. | Source: Strategy Analytics







Google's Android operating system did reach a high last quarter, however, fueled largely by the Fire. The platform's 10.5 million units represented a 39 percent share of global tablet shipments during the fourth quarter. As such, the firm's findings show that Android managed to push the iPad below the 60 percent mark as had been previously projected.



"Dozens of Android models distributed across multiple countries by numerous brands such as Amazon, Samsung, Asus and others have been driving volumes," said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. "Android is so far proving relatively popular with tablet manufacturers despite nagging concerns about fragmentation of Android’s operating system, user-interface and app store ecosystem.”



Amazon said last month that it had sold millions of Kindle Fire units, but declined to provide more specific sales figures. Even without concrete numbers to go off of, analyst believe the Fire jumped quickly into second place in the tablet market in its first quarter of availability.



In third place was Microsoft, which managed a paltry one percent share of the tablet market in the quarter.



"The upcoming release of Windows 8 this year cannot come quickly enough for Microsoft, so its hardware partners can start competing more effectively in the tablet space," the report read.



Tablet shipments for the whole year reached 66.9 million units, up 260 percent from last year's 18.6 million unit figure. The firm's research also showed that consumers are increasingly preferring tablets over netbooks and entry-level notebooks or desktops.



While non-iPad tablets are only now beginning to gain a foothold in the market after several embarrassing flops from early entrants, Apple has watched its touchscreen tablet surpass PC sales. The company sold more iPads in the fourth quarter than estimates say HP, the world's largest PC maker, sold computers.



Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier this week that he believes the iPad is not threatened by low-end, limited-function tablets and instead poses a threat to PCs.



"There will come a day when the tablet market in units is larger than the PC market," he predicted.



That day could come sooner than later, as sales of PCs declined by nearly six percent in the fourth quarter, according to research group Gartner, though Apple's Mac lineup remained impervious and posted more than 20 percent growth.

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Comments

  • tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Hmm. I would have thought that Apple was losing and was gonna have to release the iPad 4 instead of the iPad 3 to boost sales.
  • irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,451member
    Without figures from Amazon that's a whole load of text the ultimately means nothing.
  • commoncentscommoncents Posts: 68member
    What nonsense.



    First of all, it's a crock to compare published data for iPad's actually sold, compared to guesses about other tablets which simply shipped.



    Secondly, it is absurd to put the Fire in with the rest of the Android tablets. They operate differently, and they run separate apps. They're simply different operating systems. For that matter, Android is so fragmented that this may be true for other non-Fire Android tablets as well.



    Finally, it's not even clear that the iPad and Fire should even be considered the same device or market. One could easily argue that the iPad has more in common with a personal computer than it does with the Fire. If you want to see what a "real" tablet is, just look at enterprise, where iPad accounts for 96% of tablets in use.
  • whatisgoingonwhatisgoingon Posts: 273member
    Google can tell how many unique Android tablets have been activated [as in sold and used], but it's just a total wild-assed guess as to how many Kindle devices have been sold, as Amazon ain't saying how many they sold.



    So these percentages just amount to random numbers. And for some reason, the people who put out these so called 'reports' just happen to have a vested interest in Androids market share being artificially enhanced.
  • wingswings Posts: 261member
    Not to nitpick or anything (OK, so I AM nitpicking), that figure in the article about PC sales dropping 6%, is a little off. It's 8.5%.



    The difference is due to the fact that 6% is the drop in total "personal computer" sales, including Apple's increase in sales thrown in there to soften the blow to the Wintel camp. When you take Apple's numbers out of the equation and only count Wintel PCs, you get an 8.5% drop.



    Apple had a 26% increase in Mac sales last quarter (year-over-year).
  • red oakred oak Posts: 559member
    I get a kick how these research companies are so precise. It's once again shipment data. I'd be surprised if Android sold in 10 million units. All the end user metrics are showing iPad at 75-95% share. There are strong indications sell through is poor and there will be more write-offs



    Also, I would argue that the Fire is such a forked version of Android it should be it's own category. Pretty funny Google is not making a dime on Fire sales while at the same time the Fire is helping to kill off other Android tablet efforts. It's a gift to Apple



    Can you imagine Apple going to market in such a f****-up way as Amazon or Google? I'm looking forward to Amazon's earnings release on 1/31. The company still sports a 90 PE ratio and is posed for a huge drop
  • bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 1,755member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post


    Without figures from Amazon that's a whole load of text the ultimately means nothing.



    Exactly. How can anyone determine what market share the Kindle Fire has, if Amazon does not disclose any numbers. This is just a question of analysts trying to keep their jobs.
  • tawilsontawilson Posts: 484member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post


    Without figures from Amazon that's a whole load of text the ultimately means nothing.



    Well to be honest, the Fire and anything running less than 3.x has no right to be called a tablet as it isn't running a tablet version of the OS.



    And the 15.4 million iPad's isn't SHIPPED, it's the number SOLD.



    Android will be the number SHIPPED, and most of those will probably still be sat on the shelves collecting dust and looking pitifully crap!
  • simtubsimtub Posts: 276member
    Seriously? Android has nearly 40% of the Tablet market? All I ever see people use are iPads... This is flawed
  • absolutedesignzabsolutedesignz Posts: 1,930member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by simtub View Post


    Seriously? Android has nearly 40% of the Tablet market? All I ever see people use are iPads... This is flawed



    I'm inclined to agree...this has to be shipped data in regards to Android tablets...
  • f1ferrarif1ferrari Posts: 223member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post


    I'm inclined to agree...this has to be shipped data in regards to Android tablets...



    Exactly. There is NO WAY the iPad only has a 58% share of the market.



    Then again, since the Android manufacturers are too scared to release 'sales' numbers, and Amazon won't release ANY numbers, these statistics are basically pulled out of someone's posterior orifice.
  • benanderson89benanderson89 Posts: 580member
    As everyone has already said, without the numbers from the Fire being disclosed and being unsure if the figures for Android are shipped or sold, makes this data little more than hot air from gas bags in business suits.



    Get me the number of 'droid and fire tablets SOLD (not shipped, SOLD) then we can start crunching real-world numbers.
  • daramouthedaramouthe Posts: 36member
    Seems like Apple pulled off a big one, so to speak.
  • cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    Wait, so if the analysts didn't have exact sales figures for the Fire, how did they include them in this chart?
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Even using this flawed data it's still painful clear to Apple's competitors that Apple makes all the profit.
  • shadowshadow Posts: 373member
    I think there is too much focus on how precise the numbers are. The most important thing IMO are the trends. When the same methodology is used, even if not perfect but reasonably good and consistent, it still can show the trends.

    Then, when we look at the trends, there are different interpretations depending on what you are looking for. If you are interested in quarterly sales figures predictions, a much higher accuracy is needed, and few percent make a difference. But the history shows that these predictions are way off most of the time, and apparently the above data can not help in any way.

    What I am interested in (and believe what matters for the vast majority of iOS users) is whether the iOS ecosystem is healthy or not. What all the data I have seen since the iPhone introduction is that iOS is here to stay. All the predictions that the iOS is doomed and will be overtaken by WebOS/RIMM/Nokia/Android to the point of becoming marginal did not materialize and there is a growing evidence that they will never will.



    A recent study (not sure how reliable) showed that almost half of the US Android users "weren't making a conscious choice for the platform" when buying.

    Quote:

    About 47 percent of the smartphone base in the country reportedly was using Android, but only 45 percent of those were knowledgeable about Google's OS and chose it by name.



    Full story here



    After few years the vast majority of the phones sold will fit today's definition of "smartphone" but many of them will be "the new dumb phones" - they will not run iOS, they will have little support from the manufacturer, carriers and developers. They will bring little revenue for all involved with them, including Google. No matter how hard you push those numbers to claim "advantage" it will be irrelevant in any meaningful way.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post


    Google can tell how many unique Android tablets have been activated [as in sold and used], but it's just a total wild-assed guess as to how many Kindle devices have been sold, as Amazon ain't saying how many they sold.



    First, how can Google tell how many tablets have been sold? You don't have to register Android with Google (or anyone else) when you buy a new tablet. There's absolutely no mechanism.



    Second, Google clearly has no way of telling how many Kindle Fire units were sold and Fire was included in the Android numbers, so the number is bogus, anyway.



    Finally, even if by some miracle, Google did know how many Android tablets (including Fire) were sold, it's irrelevant because that's not where this information came from.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post


    So these percentages just amount to random numbers. And for some reason, the people who put out these so called 'reports' just happen to have a vested interest in Androids market share being artificially enhanced.



    I agree. The numbers sound ridiculous (and all the actual metrics tell a different story.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post


    Without figures from Amazon that's a whole load of text the ultimately means nothing.



    Even worse, the numbers from Amazon are being grossly misinterpreted. Amazon said that they were selling a million Kindle units a week, but not all of those were Fires. In fact, since the Fire was the most expensive, it may not have even been the majority. Given that Amazon claimed a million a week and the Fire was out 6 weeks before Christmas, I'm guessing that the MOST Fires they sold was around 3 M.



    Now, look at the rest of the market. Who could possibly have sold enough to make up 7 M? There was the RIM fire sale, but estimates were that they had less than a million units on hand. The HP fire sale did not occur in this quarter. So where in the heck did they come up with 7 M more units? It would be really interesting to see their breakdown.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Even using this flawed data it's still painful clear to Apple's competitors that Apple makes all the profit.



    That was never in question. The largest selling competitor is the Fire and the only discussion is how much money they lose per unit (although some of the most optimistic Fire fans think they might actually break even). The other big sellers (Touchpad, RIM) only started to sell in quantity when the price had been reduced to clear them out (HP took a $100 M hit to earnings). And I really doubt that any other tablets sold in large enough quantity to make much difference.



    Samsung is the only other player who was likely to have made a significant profit in the quarter and even that is questionable.
  • blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,410member
    I think in the first half of 2012 we're going to see a "surprising resurgence" in iPad market share as the over-supply of Android tablets is reduced to match the lower demand for those tablets.



    But then in the second half of 2012 we'll see a "stunning decline" in iPad share as vendors flood the market with Windows8 tablets. Then in 2013 we'll find out whether the market was over-supplied with Win8 tablets, quite possibly seeing another "surprising resurgence" of the iPad.
  • realwarderrealwarder Posts: 131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Even worse, the numbers from Amazon are being grossly misinterpreted. Amazon said that they were selling a million Kindle units a week, but not all of those were Fires. In fact, since the Fire was the most expensive, it may not have even been the majority. Given that Amazon claimed a million a week and the Fire was out 6 weeks before Christmas, I'm guessing that the MOST Fires they sold was around 3 M.



    Given that the Fire was at the top of the Amazon electronics best sellers list, and the other kindles below, we can assume that it was the majority.
  • rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Why doesn't Amazon release sales figures? If the Fire is so popular wouldn't you want to show that off?
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