New iPad helps Apple to strong tablet market share in Q1, Kindle Fire retreats to third place

New iPad helps Apple to strong tablet market share in Q1, Kindle Fire retreats to third place
ABI Research has released numbers for tablet sales in the first quarter of 2012, and they tell some interesting stories. Not surprisingly, Apple’s market-leading iPad did well, managing to increase its market share on the strength of new iPad sales. Perhaps more surprisingly, the Kindle Fire seems to have been partially extinguished, as it fell to third place behind Samsung, which managed to ship 1.1 million tablets in Q1.

That’s still a pretty distant second place, as Apple sold 11.8 million tablets for the quarter, good for 65% of the market. Amazon’s Kindle could not keep pace with their holiday sales, but their woes were actually the rule rather than the exception – tablet sales were down 33% overall compared to the holiday quarter that preceded it.
Apple had been ceding market share in the tablet space consistently, but the launch of their third generation iPad helped them grab almost 2/3rds of the sales last quarter. With no significant new entrants into the market in Q2 it will be interesting to see whether Q1 heralds continuing strength for Apple, or if their sales numbers will taper off after the initial sales. Last year iPad sales continued to ramp up through the year, but there is some question as to whether the tablet market can maintain its blistering growth pace this year.

Of course things will really get interesting in the third quarter, when Google’s sub-$200 Tegra 3 tablet ships. Amazon is also expected to introduce a follow up to the original Kindle Fire sometime in the second half of the year, and there are ongoing rumors that Apple may release a new iPad in September – possibly a 7” model that will compete on the low end. So it would seem that we can expect the real fireworks in Q3 and Q4 this year.

source: ABI Research via Engadget



1. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

My mother got a iPad 3 from my stepdad, BEAUTIFUL screen, noticably heavier than the iPad 2. If you get one, be sure to get a nice folio (I found they work best for tablets, as always your personal tastes may differ) I haven't had a chance to play with a Kindle fire however. I personally use an Archos 101 G9, it suits my needs for a multimedia tablet (Archos provides wide format support) quite well!

8. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

I read Kindle books on several tablets, one being the New iPad. You don't realize how much better the New iPad resolution is until you go back to a low res tablet to read. The retina display is incerdible.

2. axllebeer

Posts: 272; Member since: Apr 05, 2011

If Apple does introduce a 7" version of the iPad and it's priced competitively, that will leave a lot of other manufactures out in the cold. I think a lot of people buy some of these cheaper Android tablets, (not that they are all cheap, but some are), because they either can't afford the iPad, or just don't want to spend that kind of $ on something like a tablet. I just don't care for Apple's iOS, but the hard wear has always been good to great.

5. PhoneLuver

Posts: 481; Member since: Jul 05, 2010

I agree with you, provided they offer worldwide LTE support!

9. theoak

Posts: 324; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

At this point I am not sure if worldwide LTE support is possible as countries are still defining what those frequencies are and also there is not a chipset that supports all frequencies. The best you are going to get is GSM at this point, for the next few years at least.

3. Suts_97

Posts: 130; Member since: May 05, 2012

I guess there's only one way for any manufacturer to beat Apple in the tablet market, create a dual boot tablet with Android and Windows 8!

4. dickwyn

Posts: 621; Member since: May 07, 2012

asus made that but it is really big like 18 inches. but there may be problems between google and microsoft when that comes out

6. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i hope apple does release a 7 inch tablet for 300 or less, and i hope its massively popular. Why? Because it will force them to reduce the price of their 10 inch tablet to keep sales up. That will put more pressure on the top end to bring those prices down, which will then put pressure back on the low end to bring those prices down a smidge more. In the end, we all get cheaper tablets.

7. tward291

Posts: 559; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

im just so suprised that android has not had the sucess in the tablet market as it has in the smartphone market. With IOS all but dominate in the tablet market it seems like a waste for OEM to even make android tablets. IF Apple 7 inch tablet is priced will like 199 (doubtfull) it would me the end to android tablet sales. If windows 8 Bring that big bang that i hopeing for, which i believe out the door will out sell android tablets. Oem might begin to put more effort and time into windows 8 tablets rather than android. IMO windows is really the only competition in terms of tablets that apple has to worry about. Last note for the love of God microsoft price your tablets in the 399 499 area not not dame 799 899 for God sakes your windows 7 tablet was 1500 bucks. i understand they run real pc software but the average consumer wont care you have to take the tablet market before you can expect people to pay that price.

10. theoak

Posts: 324; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

With the iPod touch being $200, I see the "mini" starting at $300. Or ... perhaps they will drop the touch to $150 and the mini starting at $150. E3 has tons of MS tablets from what I am reading. MS is pushing hard here now that there is cheaper hardware finally.

11. Scott_H

Posts: 167; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

Tward - a couple things have happened that has (so far) prevented Android from revisiting the success they had with phones. 1) The failure of Honeycomb lead to a slow rollout of ICS tablets - so the user experience wasn't very convincing. 2) Amazon jumped their playbook - had someone put out a $249 ICS tablet last holiday season, Android would have been enjoying much of the success that Amazon did, and remember that Apple only had a hair over 50% of the tablet market in Q4 last year. By the way, I think that's the reason why we will definitely see a 4.1/Jellybean release at I/O - Google needs to get a tablet-centric update out ASAP to make their $200 tablet even more appealing - with Windows 8 and the Kindle Fire 2 coming out later in the year, Google is running out of chances to move Android into the tablet space in a big way, and a failure to do so could open the door to a slow erosion of phone market share by tablet users who want to have the same OS on all their mobile devices.

12. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I know that if W8 shows off in a big way for tablets, I'll be getting one. One of the main reasons I have held off on upgrading my G-Slate to something nicer is I want to see what MS pulls out.

14. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

That just goes to show vast majority of android sales are freebies or close to it

13. Suts_97

Posts: 130; Member since: May 05, 2012

I would never want to see Android being left out in the tablet market, but I want it to dominate the tablet market just like how it does with the smartphone market!

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