Apple iPad lead evaporating

2014-03-05 09:30
Samsung has proposed a smartphone kill switch. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Samsung has proposed a smartphone kill switch. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Apple is the top tablet vendor, though its lead is becoming slim, research data shows.

Industry tracker Gartner reported that at the end of 2013, Apple held 36% of tablet market share, well above second place Samsung at 19.1% or 37 million units.

However, Apple's share tumbled from 52.8% in 2012 and Samsung has seen its share climb from 7.4% over the same period.

"The expansion and improvement of its Galaxy tablet portfolio, together with strong marketing and promotions, helped Samsung shrink the gap with Apple," Gartner said of the South Korean manufacturer.

More people, particularly in developing markets, are turning to mobile smart technologies like smartphones and tablets at the expense of traditional PCs.

Worst decline

The result is that PCs have had their worst ever decline at the end of 2013 - dropping 10% - while tablets have seen massive growth of 68% over the last two years.

Third place manufacturer Asus remained relatively flat at 5.6%, reflecting the difficulty of finding market share when the top two players command more than 55%.

The surprise mover was Lenovo which grabbed 3.3% or 5.5 million units - from a share of only 1.9%.

"Lenovo's success is a combination of launching innovative new tablet models during the second half of 2013 and the sales of its Yoga model and Windows tablets doing particularly well," said Isabelle Durand, principal research analyst at Gartner.

The company recently acquired Motorola from Google and analysts speculate that it will use Motorola to drive its brand in the US and Europe, while at the same time, expanding its portfolio in developing markets.

Lenovo launched a series of new smartphones aimed at both developing and developed markets as the company looks to capitalise on the growth of smart devices.

"In this year we will announce the Vibe series - a kind of high end series - which will have a price point of just more than $400," Lenovo Group product manager Gao Junping told News24 at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    samsung  |  apple  |  lenovo  |  gartner  |  ipad  |  mobile

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