4Q11 Tablet Shipments More Than Double, But iPad Loses Share

| iObserver

Research firm Strategy Analytics said this week that tablet shipments more than doubled in 4Q11, thanks to frenzied interest in the iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, but noted that Apple lost 10 points of market share while Android gained 10.

According to Bloomberg, global tablet shipments in 4Q11 were 26.8 million units, up from 10.7 million in the prior year. However, the iPad saw its market share slip from 68 percent to 58 percent over the same time period, while Android’s market share jumped from 29 percent to 39 percent. Microsoft maintained 1.5 percent share in 4Q11.



The article is essentially meaningless, putting tablets into the categories iPad, Android, Windows. In reality there is iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook, anything on closing down sales, and anything else. Kindle Fire and Nook can surely be called “Android tablets”, but they don’t compete with the iPad. And its easy to sell your last remaining tablets off for $99 before leaving the tablet business, but it’s pointless to count that. The “anything else” category is what Apple competes with.

What is the market share of Apple in the “$499 or more” market?


Sounds like they’re using “shipping” numbers, rather than the number of tablets sold. The iPad may have lost some percentage points either way, but the percentages usually look a lot different.


When you start out from a position where you have something like 98% of a new market, like the iPad did, it’s hardly surprising that you’re bound to “lose” some market share as the competition gets their products to market.

What this sensationalist crap analysis “forgets” to point out is that the ENTIRE tablet market is growing like crazy, so Apple is selling way more iPads now than they did when they had a 98% marketshare!


What this sensationalist crap analysis ?forgets? to point out is that the ENTIRE tablet market is growing like crazy,

Here is a quote from the first sentence from the article:

tablet shipments more than doubled in 4Q11…

Now, English is my second language, but from I can understand here, the sentence clearly states that the tablet market is growing (you know, like crazy…).

While all other tablets that were selling below cost are a fair game in this (after all, market isn’t really interested whether the maker actually made profit or not), neither Kindle nor Nook should be counted. Not because they were sold below cost, but because they are crippled tablets with very restricted access to a limited set of apps. They may run Android, but none of the Android fans would consider them a legitimate Android tablets (until they root them and install custom ROM, that is).

It will be interesting to find out how much money Barnes and Noble can afford to bleed on this thing while waiting for it to bring revenue (and eventually profit, they hope) through e-Book purchases. Same goes for Amazon (although I’m betting B&N will fold much sooner, having been strapped for cash for quite some time now).


I also don’t think that what Amazon has done with the Kindle Fire is an Android tablet. Yes, they’re using an Android core, but they’ve forked it and put their own front end and content ecosystem on it. It really is a different animal, I think.

Paul Goodwin

Market reporting these days is so bad. These market analysts are just so clueless and going for the sensational headlines. It’s as bad as the entertainment industry these days.

Reporting percent of total units shipped is a dumb way to assess market share. When you do it that way, you only repeat what some other dumb person has said that either has an agenda or is just repeating the same useless facts from some other dumbass. Total sales dollars is all that matters, and more importantly margin on those sales. For every iPad sold, it takes 2 or more Android tables to equal the sales dollars. I have no idea what the actual margins on the sales are, but I’d guess Apple’s margins far exceed the cheaper tablets. Sale volume is meaningless. If Apple’s margin is 2-3 times the margin of the cheaper devices (which usually have near zero margin early in the design life), then it takes 4-6 times as many of the other tablet sales to be equivalent to the true share of the market. So if you take the roughly 38% of the units shipped and divide that by 4-6, then the true market share of all tablets other than the iPad is in the 6-10% range and the iPad is in the 90-94% range of all the sales dollars of the tablet market.

They may be giving them away at or below cost to get market share. That’s all businesses do that have inferior product. Have deep enough pockets to fund the loss period and hope you can drive the competition out. Guess who has the deepest pockets to play that game. Right now Apple doesn’t have to.

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