It is no secret – that Apple created the tablet and marketed it as must have item -that their vaulted iPad tablet series continues to lead the pack in sales – and that Samsung is hot on Apple's trail and wants to be number one in tablet sales. Recent sales data from ABI Research tells us that Samsung may be soon fulfilling their dream as they continue to narrow the gap the past couple of years – and last quarter's statistics continue this trend.
Even though sales in the first quarter of the year traditionally remain low for all Consumer Electronics, including tablets, sales during the 1Q 2014 show that Apple and Samsung combined to control a 71 percent share of the 41.3 million branded tablets that were sold. Apple had sales of 16.4 million and Samsung followed with 13 million and bringing up third place was ASUS – which includes Nexus 7 sales – at 2.1 million units. This 3.4 million unit difference in sales between Apple and Samsung is the closet the two leading tablet makers have come so far as both vendors clearly dominate the pack.
ABI's Senior Practice Director Jeff Orr says, "Despite questions remaining about data disclosure in 2010 and 2011, Samsung's release of tablet sales data this past quarter is a good sign for the mobile computing market. Whether due to its confidence in the economy, its own business, or a combination of reasons, Samsung continues to demonstrate tablet growth as its 2013 retail push in North America and Western Europe pays off."
During comparisons between 1Q 2013 vs 1Q 2014, sales figures show that while Apple's market share declined 10.10 percent, during the same period, Samsung's market share increased 10.80 percent – a trend that we have seen repeated lately. In keeping in line with the mix in Operating Systems for tablets being sold – during the 1Q 2014, Android made up 56.3 percent versus Apple's iOS 39.6 percent. This was followed by Windows 8/RT at 4.1 percent – all figures with an accuracy of +/- 3 percent due to vendors that have not yet reported.
This ABI Research offered another couple of observations – A little over 1-in-5 tablets sold (22 percent) have a 3G or 4G broadband modem built-in, which is the highest percentage since the 3Q 2011 and secondly, Orr states: "As major advanced markets become saturated, buyers are expanding their tablet use case, which is also pushing up the ASP (Average Selling Price) in these markets."
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