iPad still number one, Samsung in second place, Microsoft MIA

IDC reports that tablet shipments set another record for the fourth quarter of 2012, with 52.5 million units sold worldwide. Apple’s way out in front with 43.6 percent of the market, but that’s actually down from 46.4 percent for the previous quarter, when Apple sold 14 million iPads, and down from 51.7 percent for the same quarter a year before.

Apple’s volume of iPads and iPad minis sold surged for the quarter with 22.9 million units. Samsung sold 7.9 million tablets during the same period, for 15.1 percent share. Amazon, Asus and Barnes & Noble trailed behind. Microsoft, with its vaunted Surface tablet, was nowhere to be found on the list.

IDC’s Ryan Reith noted that devices based on Windows 8 and Windows RT “failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and reaction to the company’s Surface with Windows RT tablet was muted at best.”

[Editor’s note: Readers are having trouble accessing the link. The IDC report seems to have been removed.]

  • Wow, a ~3% drop in the same holiday quarter (Christmas and Black Friday) the mini landed. It will be interesting this quarter since it’ll be the first full quarter w/ the mini but I would think holiday sales would have made up for possible October sales.

    CNN has a great chart showing growth: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/01/31/apple-ipad-tablet-market-share-idc/.

    4Q11 compared to 4Q12: Apple – 46% Samsung – 263% Amazon – 26% Asus – 402% B&N – -27% (yeah, negative)

    • BC2009

      IDC is of course giving “estimates” since Samsung does not release actual numbers. Samsung “shipped” quite a few tablets to be given away with every TV purchase this holiday season. But even with that, these estimates for Samsung must be way too high since there is no way they out-sold Asus’ Nexus 7 or Amazon’s Kindle — absolutely no way. Everywhere you look you see an iPad, but you also see Kindle and Nexus 7. Ask yourself when was the last time you saw a Samsung Galaxy Tab. I can answer that question as “14 months ago”. Since then I have seen countless iPads and Kindles, and quite a few Nexus 7’s.

      Samsung tablets are not shipping in those numbers. IDC is notorious for exaggerating Samsung’s performance.

      • True on announcing numbers but I’m not familiar with them trumping up Sammies #’s.

        You should speak in so many absolutes regarding #’s we don’t know. 😉 (contradicting points; if IDC doesn’t have proper #’s you can’t say there is “no way”)

        • BC2009

          That’s true — but my best estimates would put Asus or Amazon as a clear #2. Asus said they were selling about 1M Nexus 7’s per month a few months back and that number was supposedly still increasing.

          How about: I seriously doubt these numbers are correct and it only furthers to diminish my confidence in IDC’s ability to properly estimate numbers for Samsung.

          • I’m w/ you too. They must be counting Phablets (Notes) in that number. 😀

            I did hear the Note 10 is doing pretty good but I’m w/ you on thinking they outdid the Nexus 7/Kindle.

    • BC2009

      I’m not quite sure you are reading the numbers correctly.

      Apple had 51.7% market share in 4Q2011. They now (according to these estimates) have 43.6% market share. They experienced a growth in 4Q2012 versus 4Q2011 of 48.1% since they sold 22.9M units this last quarter and 15.5 in the year-ago same quarter.

      I don’t know where a “3% drop” comes from.

      According to this same report, Samsung had 263% growth because they supposedly sold 2.2M units last year in the same quarter and 7.9M units this year (assuming that number is remotely close to accurate).

      The number for Asus seems a bit low since they were selling 1M units of Nexus 7 per month before the holiday quarter. I can’t see the holidays yielding no increase whatsoever for them.

      I would estimate Samsung sold around 3M tablets, Asus closer to 4.5M and Amazon somewhere between 5 and 6M units.

      Barnes and Noble selling less tablets than last year is kinda sad, but it just shows that Amazon is eating them alive. Their new Nook is not bad though.

      • I didn’t read the numbers. Peter stated it above: “Apple’s way out in front with 43.6 percent of the market, but that’s actually down from 46.4 percent for the previous quarter, when Apple sold 14 million iPads, and down from 51.7 percent for the same quarter a year before.”

  • Guest

    Bear in mind that percentages are relative, not absolute. A dollar that inflates by 1000% is worth considerably less than $10 that inflates by 100%. What matters is how long the rate if growth is sustained. Like them or hate them, there’s no arguing that Apple has been killing it in that department.

  • This early in the tablet world, percentages are meaningless. Articles like this are nothing but feces. If I had 100% of the market on self-sealing stem bolts in one quarter and doubled sales to 2,000,000 next quarter while Spacely Sprockets joined the market and sold 1,000 of their stem bolts, critics would start screaming how I no longer have 100% of the market and I’m failing. REDICULOUS!

  • I have serious questions about that 7.9 million Samsung number. Even if we ignore that they gave them away when people bought TVs over the holidays, I’ve only once in my life seen one out in the wild.

    You’d hope by now the people who compile these charts would figure out the difference between “Shipped” and “Sold” (or even given away).