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Samsung is catching up to Apple in the tablet arena

Apple's iPad is still leading the pack when it comes to tablet market share, but this is slowly changing as Samsung plays catch-up.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), a total of 52.5 million tablets were shipped in Q4 2012. Of this, 22.9 million were Apple's iPad, which represented a 48.1 percent growth from Q4 2011.

However, Apple's iPad market share has been slipping slightly on a quarterly basis. It went from 46.4 percent in Q3 2012 to 43.6 percent in Q4 2012.

Part of the reason for the slip is Samsung's ability to gain some ground with its Android and Windows 8-powered tablets. Samsung represented the No. 2 spot with a 263 percent year-on-year growth. For Q4 2012, it shipped 8 million tablets and snagged 15.1 percent of the market share.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the iPad's market share in Japan was bested by the Android-powered Nexus 7 tablet.

The top five tablet vendors (from No. 1 to No. 5) include Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and a collected group of "others."

Microsoft is now in on the tablet race too, with its first entry -- Microsoft Surface. In November 2012, it released Surface with Windows RT for ARM-based tablets. On February 9, it will release Surface with Windows 8 Pro.

While Microsoft's Surface with Windows RT was released in the fourth quarter, it was just shy of the top five list with IDC's calculated number of 900,000 shipments.

According to market research firm iSuppli, Microsoft Surface RT shipments into the channel for the fourth quarter were about 1.25 million, but sales out of the channel were only about 55-60 percent of that. This equals about 680,000-750,000 unit shipments, which is well below the 1 million mark.

The Surface with Windows RT has a lot stacked against it, such as a high return rate (iSuppli said that's mainly due to the steep learning curve of Windows 8), the fact that device makers aren't particularly interested in the OS and Microsoft failed to sell the device outside of its own kiosks (there are only a little over 60 of them in the U.S.) and online until mid-December.

Sources: IDC, CNET

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What areas is Microsoft actually make good decisions?
By tayb on 1/31/2013 4:29:46 PM , Rating: 4
Seriously, what areas?

In Visual Studio 2012 they made some head scratching decisions on things to exclude and UI elements. (Setup project? WTF?)

With .NET they refused to make 4.5 compatible with Windows XP which is still the most widely used OS available.

Office 365 is priced 3-4 times as much as it should be.

Windows 8 is fast but the decision to force every user to use Modern UI (formerly known as Metro) and remove the start button from EVERYONE is completely idiotic.

Windows Phone 7 was two years late and was slow to be updated. Then MS basically abandoned the OS and moved on to 8 effectively giving the finger to all early adopters. (Where is 7.9?!?)

Windows Phone 8 looks nice but it still hasn't reached feature parity with the competition despite 2+ years on the shelf. It's also updated much slower than it should be. Android sees 5 updates for every one WP update.

The Surface RT was two years late, over priced, under marketed, and difficult to find. The name 'RT' is idiotic and Microsoft failed miserably at educating users on what RT was and how it was different from Windows 8.

Office home and student STILL does not include Outlook. Why?

I look at Microsoft and I'm struggling to find areas where I don't think they are making idiotic decisions.

By Mitch101 on 1/31/2013 5:06:00 PM , Rating: 3
While I think you make some valid points I disagree on a few.

Windows Phone is excellent you need to use one to appreciate it. Feature Parity how? Nokia 920 has the best camera of any phone out I cant wait till the 41 megapixel pureview one coming. If you get it right the first time there is little need for changes. How many times have I had to reboot the Windows Phone in 2 years because of it being frozen or any other issue ZERO. Im upgrading to get a better camera not because the phone or os is bad its still just as snappy as the day it was purchased. I also want to get off Sprint.

Windows XP and .Net 4.5? Windows 7 is the new XP and its significantly better. Why should Microsoft support XP, Vista, 7 and 8? Its past time to upgrade. If you dont like 8's interface you can replace it with the start menu for FREE or $5.00

Office Home and Student - You dont need one most students use - GMail - or use the free mail app built into Windows 8 or download Windows Essentials also free which has a mail app -

To your other points I agree
Office 365 is too pricey.
Still haven't updated to VS2012 to comment.
Surface RT I agree its overpriced. Im quite enjoying my HP Touchpad running Cyanogen mod 4.1 Android.

By tayb on 1/31/2013 6:36:37 PM , Rating: 3
I don't disagree that the Windows Phone UI is excellent and that the overall experience is quite good but it needs to be overwhelmingly AMAZING to gain traction in a crowded market dominated by two players. Neither the HTC 8X nor the Nokia 920 reviews blew my socks off. Being "good enough" is not enough.

Windows 7 is better in my opinion but that doesn't change the fact that there are many many machines out there running XP. If I build an application targeting .NET 4.5 I can't run it on XP. My choices are to ignore the huge number of machines running XP, target .NET 4 and deprecate functionality, or create a version of the application specifically for XP. I shouldn't have to make that choice. Microsoft should support XP for the exact same reason I am going to support XP -> There are millions of people/businesses still running it. My biggest issue with this though is the fact that not supporting .NET 4.5 will NOT convince people to upgrade their OS. It hurts developers and developers only.

Students don't need Outlook? Of course they don't but why wouldn't Microsoft want students using and getting used to it? We brought in an intern recently who had never used Outlook. He was annoyed by it and didn't want to learn to use it. This is a bad sign for MS when an entire generation of students doesn't even THINK of outlook when thinking about email.

By Mitch101 on 1/31/2013 9:50:33 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft does

No amount of advertising will probably convince consumers in droves to get Windows Phone it’s going to be word of mouth on people using them and recommending them to their friends and family. I only know of one person who doesn’t like the Windows Phone and you can guess he is pro Apple but can’t give me a real reason to why he doesn’t like the Windows Phone.

Unless it’s a cpu or video card benchmark Id rather take consumer reviews in bulk like NewEgg and Amazon over tech review sites because a large number of consumers seem to get it right over the tech sites where there is generally bias or opinion of one person. This goes back to my first point the more people who use Windows Phone and like it the more their friends and family will get it. As Windows Phone gains sales its only a matter or time before more people realize they have something really good.

Those people will have to cut the cord and I think there are plenty enough people with Windows Vista, 7 and 8 out there that you can make plenty with the right app. Or you could develop without .net 4.5. Are you developing something that requires 4.5 that you can’t accomplish with 4.0? I can understand you wanting to market to the broadest market but you could say the same you want Microsoft to update direct x on the original x-box so you can maximize sales so your game can run on x-box and the 360. XP ship has sailed or should I really say 32bit is over because nobody should be running XP 64bit.

Student get plenty of stuff for FREE from Microsoft check out Dreamspark.

Office 365 Student Edition (Includes Outlook) $79.99 for 2 PC’s Plus select mobile devices – 1 copy of this item for 4 years.

If you’re company is a Microsoft partner you can get office for $10.00

By aegisofrime on 2/1/2013 7:13:45 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft or it's handset partners need to do a loaner/trial program for WP8 phones. I really want to give WP8 a try (currently using a Nexus 4 with CM10.1, so you know what kind of user I am, a power user), but when you buy a smartphone, you also buy into an ecosystem. It's just too much a risk to take, and if it does turn out that WP8 isn't to my liking, it's also likely that I can't find much resale value out of it...

By Belard on 1/31/2013 9:50:44 PM , Rating: 1
Outlook sucks anyway... technically... functionally, its quite good in many areas with its PIM that nobody from OpenOffice has yet to replicate.

By Belard on 1/31/2013 11:59:28 PM , Rating: 1
I agree with much of what you have to say. At one of the offices I work, they have a single XP PC because the $4000 HP Plotter *STILL* doesn't have a working Win7(32bit or 64bit) driver that actually works. HP points to a driver, its for the 500PS or 500+, but doesn't work with the "500", etc, etc... so still XP on a quad core system.

Win7/8 phone is kind of neat. I ran the same Metro interface on my Android phone for almost 2 years, until I got a new Android 4.x phone and with widgets, etc - it does what I need, looks better than WP7/8 that I keep it as is.

Win8 tablets selling badly and being returned is bad...

Everything to do with Windows H8TE is a failure... Sure they'll sell... to unhappy customers.

Hey... speaking of developers: check out the You videos of Young Steve Ballmer talking about "devleopers"... rant. funny... and obviously, MS and he himself don't care about.

By car_analogy on 2/1/2013 7:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
I had a similar situation with a plotter at one of my clients. You should really try Windows 8, they bought new Windows 8 HP cheapos (of which I have seen tons btw, so score one for HP I guess) and a working driver is actually on Windows update. When it asks you for a driver, just click the Windows Update button and let it download new drivers for a while. The one you want is in the list, and works. I couldn't get it to work on 7 either, but it works on 8.

And for the record Windows 8 is actually pretty good for a first shot at such a major overhaul. They did mess up their tablet strategy, but it seems that Apple's strategy at this point is just to wait for Microsoft to do something, then immediately announce something to one up them (see recent 128GB iPad announcement.) It's Google and Samsung they should be worried about, but they still have a bit of catching up to do themselves.

And I agree that it's very ironic that for someone famous for chanting 'developers' Microsoft has done a LOT lately to alienate them it seems.

By Da W on 1/31/2013 10:08:27 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is still acting as a Monopoly, but isn't anymore. Ballmer needs to leave.

In all fairness i think there is room for 2 major in the phone buisness. No mather how good WP8 or BB10 will be, it's iOS and Android's turf and the game is played.
The tablet market is still open but closing fast. You need 300$ cheap Windows 8 tablet with AMD apu to counter nexus 7 and the likes.
Laptop-desktop, it's Microsoft Apple and i don,t see Google gaining significant traction here.
Xbox is a success.

By johnsmith9875 on 2/5/2013 3:36:35 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft needs to stop trying to create market segments where they don't exist. We recently updated one of our servers to 64 gigabytes...whoops Server 2008 only supports 32, but the SQL server on it does support 64. Of course both of these are completely artificial limits imposed by Microsoft to coax you into buying a server product that costs 5 times as much just to get a few extra features that should have been included in the first place.

Microsoft is run by marketers, not by people who love technology.

Market Share is misleading
By KiwiTT on 1/31/2013 1:44:29 PM , Rating: 1
All this talk about Apple's market share falling is misleading. At point 1, Apple's market share was A and the market size was X. At point 2, Apple market share A+1, but the market size is now 3X. Simply put the market has expanded expanded in two directions, more competitors and more volume, whereas Apple continues to produce as much product as it can for the niche it fills.

RE: Market Share is misleading
By russki on 1/31/2013 1:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yes they are shipping more product out the door, but still losing market share

RE: Market Share is misleading
By messele on 1/31/13, Rating: -1
RE: Market Share is misleading
By Shadowself on 1/31/2013 2:09:47 PM , Rating: 3
Most of Apple's market share issues (and actually shipping quantities issues too) has been self inflicted by Apple.

The real bottom line is that Apple has not gotten its act together enough to ship products in the quantities that people were demanding. So either A. People waited (meaning sales slipped to the first calendar quarter of this year) or B. People bought something else (meaning a very large fraction of those lost sales went to Samsung).

Yes. Yes. Samsung is selling some very nice tablets. However, Apple has done as much damage to itself in the fourth calendar quarter of last year as Samsung ever did.

Can Apple recover and fix its supply chain issues? I'm not at all confident they can -- just look at the top of the line, build-to-order iMac. More than three months after it was announced it still has up to four week waiting time before it even ships, according to Apple's web site. A month wait time on a three month old product? Apple needs to fix this fast or it will continue its downward spiral!

RE: Market Share is misleading
By KPOM1 on 1/31/2013 2:15:50 PM , Rating: 3
I think you are exaggerating a bit. Apple does need to sort out its supply chain issues (for instance, Tim Cook should hire a full-time COO so he can focus on being CEO). However, Apple wasn't going to keep 80% or even 50% market share forever. The supply chain maybe cost them 1-2 million iPad sales in Q4.

Apple won't produce a $99 tablet. They won't produce a $199 one, either. That's not their business model. Yes, they produced cheap iPods, but iPod was a flash-in-the-pan commodity product and Apple knew it. They see iPad as a long term product line, and don't want to get into a price war. They'll gladly cede significant market share at the low end to Samsung, Amazon, or anyone else.

By theapparition on 1/31/2013 3:03:03 PM , Rating: 4
Are you sure you don't know what market share actually means, because you've pretty much described how it doesn't.

Apple's market share is simply the percentage of sales for the entire market. What you are talking about is growth, where sales are still expanding. But the number of new competitors/products are shrinking Apple's market share. There is nothing misleading about it. The exact same scenario happened in the phone business.

Market share, as some have pointed out many times, doesn't guarantee future sales growth, but it is an important metric for determining consumer preference. Shrinking market share, is generally never considered a good thing. As much as you've tried to spin it, it still worries the industry and investors.

At one time RIM had a huge market share AND great profits. Then they started to see their market share decline......all while the market was expanding with new competitors. In a few years they are trying to reboot the companies image in a bid to stay alive. Sound familiar. Apple's scenario is quite different, but the churn rate of mobile products is so high that a company can lose it's entire customer base in only a few years with a change in the winds. Its a very volatile industry.

Now as to whether Apple is concerned with market share loss while raking in huge profits is another topic for discussion. My bet is they are concerned with it, but not by a huge margin yet.

By TakinYourPoints on 2/1/2013 5:21:39 AM , Rating: 2
The real thing that is missing are reliable sales numbers from more companies. What IDC is presenting are guesses, nothing solid.

From CNN Money:

... the only thing in the data that we can be sure about is that sales of Apple's iPad grew 48.1% year over year -- from 15.1 million to 22.9 million. We and IDC know this because Apple (AAPL) reported those unit sales figures last week

The rest of IDC's report is almost entirely guesswork. It says that Samsung shipped 7.9 million tablets -- up 263% -- but doesn't say how it got those numbers. Certainly not from Samsung, which hasn't released unit sales figures for any of its devices in years.

IDC also says that Amazon (AMZN) shipped 6 million Kindles -- up 26.8%. This despite the fact that Amazon has never once said how many Kindles it sold, a policy that remained conspicuously in force during Tuesday's Q4 2012 earnings call.

As for the rest of IDC's findings, they just get more bizarre. The press release says Barnes & Noble (BKS) "gained traction" in the tablet market, but the spreadsheet shows Nook sales falling year over year. Even more startling, the release says Asus lost share, while the spreadsheet shows Asus' market share nearly tripling on sales that grew 402.5%.

So yeah, really sketchy.

Aside from actual iPad sales numbers, the other thing that is known is that the it makes up about 80% of US tablet web traffic and the bulk of app downloads:

The Kindle Fire is at about 8%, the Galaxy Tab at 4.5%, the Galaxy Nexus at 2%, and the Microsoft Surface at 0.4%. These metrics show a big discrepancy between tablet usage and IDC's guessed shipment numbers.

The same fate
By mustaka on 2/1/2013 10:17:10 AM , Rating: 2
MS envied Apple's greed, and tried to imitate just when Apple was going down. It seems they will share the same fate.

RE: The same fate
By Argon18 on 2/1/2013 11:28:01 AM , Rating: 1
Don't underestimate Microsoft. They are great at imitating others. They are also great at being the slow kid on the block, always late to market. Lack of innovation and slow to market will be the death of this unethical monopoly. Once government and businesses wake up and decide to standardize on an open document format, to free themselves from the Windows/Office shackles, that'll be a big nail in the coffin of the closed Microsoft ecosystem.

By HermioneSmithe2 on 1/31/2013 10:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
until I looked at the check which said $9564, I accept that my mom in-law was like they say actualy erning money in there spare time from there computar.. there sisters neighbour has been doing this for only twenty two months and just paid the dept on there condo and bourt a brand new BMW 5-series. I went here, Fox76.comCHECK IT OUT

Win8 sucks for tablets too?!
By Belard on 1/31/2013 10:27:38 PM , Rating: 2
The Surface with Windows RT has a lot stacked against it, such as a high return rate (iSuppli said that's mainly due to the steep learning curve of Windows 8)

Okay, the point of MS totally screwing up the desktop UI was to have a common interface between Desktop<>tablet<>phone... and even for tablet users, Win8 is difficult to work with.

Yeah, guess its because it lacks visual clues as to WHAT you can or supposed to do that is included with the others (Android / iOS).

A hint of MS stupidity is the NEW MS-keyboards which short-cut keys to functions that are too much a pain in the ass with the "touch-centric" UI... that its better than using a mouse? That is a sign of BAD design.

By p05esto on 2/1/2013 9:31:30 AM , Rating: 1
MS was so scared to miss out on the Apple love that they turned everything upside down. The problem is they had 90% marketshare for a reason, why every business in the world practically ran Windows. With Win8 it's so screwed up that businesses will think about options. WAKE THE F UP MS, we all root and love you but DAMN!

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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