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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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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.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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