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

post #1 of 74
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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.
post #2 of 74
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.
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post #3 of 74
Without figures from Amazon that's a whole load of text the ultimately means nothing.
post #4 of 74
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.
post #5 of 74
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.
post #6 of 74
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).
post #7 of 74
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

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post #8 of 74
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.
post #9 of 74
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!
post #10 of 74
Seriously? Android has nearly 40% of the Tablet market? All I ever see people use are iPads... This is flawed
post #11 of 74
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...
post #12 of 74
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.
post #13 of 74
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.

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post #14 of 74
Seems like Apple pulled off a big one, so to speak.
post #15 of 74
Wait, so if the analysts didn't have exact sales figures for the Fire, how did they include them in this chart?
post #16 of 74
Even using this flawed data it's still painful clear to Apple's competitors that Apple makes all the profit.

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post #17 of 74
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.
post #18 of 74
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.
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post #19 of 74
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.
post #20 of 74
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.
post #21 of 74
Why doesn't Amazon release sales figures? If the Fire is so popular wouldn't you want to show that off?
post #22 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post

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.

No. Bad assumption!
post #23 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by piot View Post

No. Bad assumption!

Actually, in the very same press release, it was stated that the Fire was the best seller of the kindle lineup. Between the Fire, DX, Touch and regular kindle, lets assume at a minimum it had 25% of the sales(my guess is that it is somewhere between 30-50% as the DX is not a high volume unit, big range but I am not an "expert analyst). So they are selling over a million kindles a week, and the biggest seller was the fire. The fire sold somewhere in the range of 250,000 per week to maybe 500,000 a week. I don't really know how you could ever pull a specific number though, as it could be higher if it is the best seller by a large margin.

Apple had a great quarter(and year) obviously, but I think there are still people like myself who own a 1st gen iPad and are waiting for the iPad 3 announcement that will cause another huge increase in sales in the first half of the year. Add to that the prospects of a lower cost iPad 2 to further increase sales, and it looks like 2012 will be an even better year for iOS.
post #24 of 74
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post #25 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post

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.

That assumption is not valid. There were at least 4 different Kindle models on sale, so being #1 on the list only means that it's greater than 25%. It may or may not be the majority.

However, note that in my assumption, I allowed for the Fire to account for 50% of all Kindle sales.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baka-Dubbs View Post

Actually, in the very same press release, it was stated that the Fire was the best seller of the kindle lineup. Between the Fire, DX, Touch and regular kindle, lets assume at a minimum it had 25% of the sales(my guess is that it is somewhere between 30-50% as the DX is not a high volume unit, big range but I am not an "expert analyst). So they are selling over a million kindles a week, and the biggest seller was the fire. The fire sold somewhere in the range of 250,000 per week to maybe 500,000 a week. I don't really know how you could ever pull a specific number though, as it could be higher if it is the best seller by a large margin.

I don't have a specific number, but I chose 50% - or the top of your range. Even with that assumption, the Fire only sold around 3 M units in the last quarter - and it was clearly the top non-iPad tablet. So it's really hard to figure out where the other 7 M tablets came from.

And THAT is even assuming that you call the Fire a tablet rather than an e-reader.
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post #26 of 74
So annoying to see people run with these things as if they're fact. Do a google news search and you get story after story about Android taking over iPad's dominance even though Apple is the only company to release data on how many tablets they sold. Everything else is guesstimates passed off as fact. and wouldn't a smart person question these numbers anyway? Apple sells a record number of iPads but their market share drops? No way in hell Amazon sold 15 million Fires. And who else really is competing? Where is the hard data tha Samsung and Motorola are selling lots of tablets?
post #27 of 74
Using the same data next year at this time it will show that Apple has only 10% of the tablet space.

Polling around the world will show that 88% of the people who own tablets own an iPad.

DaHarder will say that he owns 3 of each.

Slappy will say it's the end for Apple.

... and the iPhone 10 will have been released...
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post #28 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baka-Dubbs View Post

Actually, in the very same press release, it was stated that the Fire was the best seller of the kindle lineup. Between the Fire, DX, Touch and regular kindle, lets assume at a minimum it had 25% of the sales(my guess is that it is somewhere between 30-50% as the DX is not a high volume unit, big range but I am not an "expert analyst). So they are selling over a million kindles a week, and the biggest seller was the fire. The fire sold somewhere in the range of 250,000 per week to maybe 500,000 a week. I don't really know how you could ever pull a specific number though, as it could be higher if it is the best seller by a large margin.

Apple had a great quarter(and year) obviously, but I think there are still people like myself who own a 1st gen iPad and are waiting for the iPad 3 announcement that will cause another huge increase in sales in the first half of the year. Add to that the prospects of a lower cost iPad 2 to further increase sales, and it looks like 2012 will be an even better year for iOS.

I played with iBooks Author today and put together a brief lesson plan for a client. It's slightly rough around the edges but they've taken the best parts of iWork and made *publishing interactive media for the iPad* just... stunningly easy and beautiful.

Yes, the screen at 1024x768 simply doesn't do the iPad justice anymore. It's a good start but iPad is clearly the new Mac. The iPad3 will have a better display. Minimum 1.5x better resolution.

Tim Cook gave a good answer... iOS vs Android is nothing like Mac vs Windows. Mac at best is 10% in some markets. But iOS is 50-50 or at "worst" 35-65... Depending on what you consider real Android-based competitors. Samsung Galaxy would be a competitor but Kindle Fire? Not sure about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

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.

Bingo. Couldn't have put it better myself.
post #29 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

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.

I don't think we'll even see that "stunning decline" in the wake of Windows 8 tablets being released. You'd have a better chance of that happening because of Amazon's next, larger tablet (and I use the term loosely).
post #30 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by commoncents View Post

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.

I listened to the AAPL earnings call, but didn't take notes. However, I believe the number listed for AAPL is actually shipped numbers rather than sold. Apple said that they shipped 15.43 million for the quarter, and drew down channel inventory by 200,000 units.

So they actually sold 15.6 million.

It is kind of funny. Apple sells more than they ship, but are reported as dropping share compared to other companies that shipped, but may not have sold.
post #31 of 74
Until android vendors and amazon release official numbers, it can be said that Apple has at least80% of the market.
post #32 of 74
Finally a dose of reality. Within a short period Android has nearly caught up with iOS. My prediction of 2012 being the year that Android surpasses iOS in both Smartphone and Tablets will come to fruition. There is no denying these numbers. As shown, Apple iOS has already started its decline. Good to see some realistic information posted here.
post #33 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Finally a dose of reality. Within a short period Android has nearly caught up with iOS. My prediction of 2012 being the year that Android surpasses iOS in both Smartphone and Tablets will come to fruition. There is no denying these numbers. As shown, Apple iOS has already started its decline. Good to see some realistic information posted here.

Hilarious! You should post under one of those funny comment troll names like "Andy Ruby" or "Android Rubin" or something.
post #34 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

Hilarious! You should post under one of those funny comment troll names like "Andy Ruby" or "Android Rubin" or something.

What?! Slappy isn't funny enough for you?!
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post #35 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Until android vendors and amazon release official numbers, it can be said that Apple has at least80% of the market.

Isn't it possible that Amazon and other Android tablets are competing with each other? Why is it just assumed that every one who purchased something other than an iPad was a lost Apple customer? Is there any hard data to suggest people were thinking of buying an iPad but decided to buy a Fire instead? My guess is most Kindle Fire buyers were not seriously considering an iPad in the first place.
post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Isn't it possible that Amazon and other Android tablets are competing with each other? Why is it just assumed that every one who purchased something other than an iPad was a lost Apple customer? Is there any hard data to suggest people were thinking of buying an iPad but decided to buy a Fire instead? My guess is most Kindle Fire buyers were not seriously considering an iPad in the first place.

I'll take that even further. I've suggested that the low-priced "limited use" tablets from Amazon and B&N could be starter tablets for those that would otherwise not have decided to buy any tablet who will then buy an iPad for their next tablet purchase thus helping Apple's tablet sales in the long run.

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post #37 of 74
So what I see is that Android tripled its shipment of devices, Apple doubled its shipments, Apple lost 11% market while Android gained. So Android is gaining momentum. I guess Apple has it right, why worry about competition since there is none. I think MS had that philosophy 15 years ago.
post #38 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'll take that even further. I've suggested that the low-priced "limited use" tablets from Amazon and B&N could be starter tablets for those that would otherwise not have decided to buy any tablet who will then buy an iPad for their next tablet purchase thus helping Apple's tablet sales in the long run.

It would be interesting to know how many people bought/received a Fire but have now returned it to buy an iPad.
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post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellacool View Post

So what I see is that Android tripled its shipment of devices, Apple doubled its shipments, Apple lost 11% market while Android gained. So Android is gaining momentum. I guess Apple has it right, why worry about competition since there is none. I think MS had that philosophy 15 years ago.

Slappy, is that you??!!
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post #40 of 74
Wait how did Apple lose 11% of market share
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