We all know that Apple iPad is the best tablet known to mankind, since Moses’ Twin tablets, but which is the second best? The race is still far from over and companies like Amazon, Research in Motion, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Barnes & Noble, and Asus are all engaged in a battle for the second place in the tablet market, but no one seems to have a clear position so far, which it can hope to maintain for time to come.
If we look at the ones that should not have any false hope of becoming the number two in the tablet market then Research in Motion, Motorola, Barnes & Noble, and Asus go out of the frame. It leaves only Amazon and Samsung in the race. Both of which are giving a serious competition to each other.
According to a market study done by IHSiSuppli, though Apple’s market share has plummeted, iPad still holds more than 50% of the global tablet market, but the competition, as experts say, is more from Apple’s own iPhone 4S then any other tablets.
It seems that despite its dream run in December 2011, Amazon Kindle has not made a significant dent in Apple’s forte. According to a press release issued by Amazon, the company sold 1 million units of Kindle every week in the Holiday Seasons (Read: Amazon Kindle Has Fire in the Belly - Made It Big in December 2011).
In the fourth quarter of 2011, Apple enjoyed the market share of 57%, which was 8% less than the market share it had in the third quarter. The company finished the year with a total market share of 62%, against 87% in 2010, and Samsung, which ended the year with 9.1% of the market share, held the second position. Amazon finished third with a market share of 6%. (See chart below)
But this does not explain anything because Kindle Fire was not present in the market for the better part of the year. 2012 will be the decisive year for the tablet industry.
In terms of volume, Apple recorded a significant rise in the number of iPad1 and iPad2 it shipped out. The company shipped 40.5 million tablets in 2011, whereas, Samsung shipped 6.1 million Galaxy Tabs, and Amazon sold 3.8 million Kindle Fire.
iPad, by far, is the category leader, and no other tablet device is going to challenge its leadership position in 2012. The real battle will be for number two slot and the numbers suggest that Amazon will easily outperform Samsung, but numbers do not tell the whole story. The products these two companies will bring in the months to come will tell the real story.
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