The iPad continued to dominate the tablet space through the first quarter of 2012. That’s the news from ABI Research, which publishes a quarterly report known as the Media Tablet Market Share Tracker. Although most companies with products in the tablet space did see year-on-year growth, none was able to come close to wresting the number one spot away from Apple. Apple’s commanding lead translated to 10 times the number of shipments by Samsung, which returned to being the second biggest player in the tablet space.
ABI noted that Apple, which launched the new iPad and dropped the price of the iPad 2 towards the end of the quarter, had a 185% gain on last year’s first quarter numbers but also a 33% drop from the company’s amazing holiday quarter numbers. Overall, for the quarter, Apple shipped 11.8 million iPads.
Samsung out Amazon’s Kindle Fire to reclaim the number two spot. Amazon’s tablet sales have fizzled significantly since the Kindle Fire’s very strong launch during the holiday shopping season.
Despite retaking the second place spot, Samsung’s shipment of just 1.1 million tablets clearly illustrates the vast lead that Apple has in the tablet space over any single competitor. Jeff Orr, ABI’s consumer research director, notes that Apple and Samsung have the same relationship in the tablet market as they do in the smartphone market as the biggest device makers in each category.
A pattern similar to smartphones is also occurring in tablets. Apple and Samsung have demonstrated staying power while other tablet vendors ebb and flow like the tide.
ABI pegged the iPad’s at representing 65% of the tablet market overall.
It’s important to note that ABI tracks tablet shipments in order to generate the report rather than sales. This means that the results don’t directly translate to sales of a device – merely that items were shipped to retailers.