The latest figures from analyst firm IDC show that Apple is beginning to lose its stranglehold on the tablet market, with the iPad only accounting for half the slates shipped in the last quarter.
That’s a big slip from two-thirds of the market, 65.5 per cent in Q2 of 2012, to 50.4 per cent in Q3.
Of course, Q3 was the run up to the launch of the iPad mini, so some folks may have put off purchasing an iPad until they saw what its compact sibling was all about (and what it was priced at, perhaps more importantly).
Apple’s loss has been Samsung and Amazon’s gain, as both companies picked up some serious market share.
Samsung was in second place behind Apple with 18.4 per cent of the market, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire has now been propelled to third place with a 9 per cent share.
Asus is just behind Amazon on 8.6 per cent – with Asus being the manufacturer of the Nexus 7, the reason that the company has jumped from a 3.8 per cent share in Q3 2011.
Those firms are pretty much the only players apart from Lenovo, which has a minor 1.4 per cent share, and is apparently doing well in China. Other miscellaneous small manufacturers make up the remaining 12 per cent of the market.
In total, there were 27.8 million tablets shipped in the third quarter of this year, with the market growing by 50 per cent year-on-year, and by almost 7 per cent on the second quarter.
Competition is set to get more intense for Apple, with Microsoft now jumping into the market with its Surface, not to mention a lot of other Windows 8 slates from third-party vendors (or indeed hybrid tablet/laptops).
It’s not clear how well the iPad mini did on its debut last weekend, as Apple only revealed figures for the overall sales of iPads (3 million). The fact that specific numbers weren’t divulged leaves us a little suspicious that Apple didn’t have the usual blockbuster sales that everyone has come to expect from a new product launch…