Though recent estimates for the second quarter of 2013 have shown the tablet market slowing a bit, most predictions believe this is due to consumers waiting for the dozens of tablet refreshes on the way this holiday season. In relative terms, the tablet market has nearly doubled since the same time last year, and shows no signs of slowing.
Analyst firm Canalys this week reported its own second-quarter numbers, showing that Apple has now lost its majority tablet market share. The report showed Apple's tablet shipments declining more than 14% from the second quarter of 2012. Though this can largely be chalked up to more 2012 sales due to an iPad refresh release in the second quarter of that year, the report also shows that Android tablets are beginning to take over tablets.
While Apple shipments dropped, Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo, and Acer each shipped over 200% more tablets than the previous year's quarter. Samsung in particular increased its shipments a whopping 294.8%. Canalys attributes much of these increases to the rising demand for low-priced mini-tablets (those with screens smaller than nine inches).
While Apple will undoubtedly increase its shipments once its new tablet lineup is announced, Canalys is now predicting that the hype surrounding the company's iPads could be dying down and that its new products could "have less impact on its shipments."
"When Apple does decide to refresh its iPad range it will not experience the buzz of previous launches,’ said James Wang, an analyst at Canalys. Tablets are now mainstream products and hardware innovation is increasingly difficult. With branded Android tablets available for less than $150, the PC market has never been so good for consumers, who are voting with their wallets."