As the market share of the iPad, which is considered to be the epitome of tablets, has continued to decline, the industry is paying attention whether or not its share will fall below 20 percent this year.
According to market research firm Strategy Analytics on Dec. 5, the iPad took 22 percent of the global tablet market in the third quarter of this year. It used to make up more than 70 percent of the market, and was then synonymous with the term tablet PC.
However, its share started to decrease in 2011. After dropping to the 40 percent level in 2012, the number has kept falling.
The continuing downward trend is attributable to the appearance of Android-based tablets. The emergence of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Tab put the domination of the iPad on hold. After that, the Kindle Fire, a mini tablet computer version of Amazon's Kindle e-book reader, became sensational at the price of US$199, igniting counter-attacks by Android-powered tablets.
Since Android tablets in different price ranges with different screen sizes, including Google's Nexus 7 series and Samsung's Galaxy Note tablet series, ate away the share of the iPad, Apple's tablet with a simple line-up was unable to counter it.
The exponential growth of Lenovo and Asus is also noticeable in recent months. Lenovo ranked 5th in the tablet rankings last year by selling 1.5 million units, but nabbed the third spot in the second quarter of this year with 2.4 million. Its sales volume increased 64.7 percent year-on-year.
To add insult to injury, some say that Apple's own iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ stand in the way of the iPad's growth.
Users of large-sized iPhone 6+ are said to rarely be attracted to the iPad. IT news site Gigwire.com recently reported that the usage rate of the iPad has been sharply declining since the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+. In the iPhone 5S era, 55 percent of iOS device users owned the iPhone 5S, with the remaining 45 percent using the iPad. However, after the launch of the iPhone 6 series, 72 percent reportedly use the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+. Only 28 percent are said to own the iPad.