iPad is still the king of the tablet browsing platforms. But the king is not quite as kingly as he used to be.
Apple earnings are just about to be announced for the second quarter of 2013, and analysts are expecting tough news from the iPad maker. Its tablet market share has been a major strong point, with big sales numbers and even bigger percentage shares of usage: tablets used to browse the web.
In fact, Apple enjoyed 90+ percentage point market share of tablet usage in North America for much of 2012.
But that’s changing.
Online advertising company Chitika, which measures tablet, smartphone, and other platform usage of online ad networks, and therefore browsing share, says that iPad share in the U.S. and Canada is down, based on a study the company conducted. Which means, of course, that Android-based tablets such as Kindle and Galaxy are increasing their share.
“We measured hundreds of millions of tablet ad impressions,” a Chitika representative said in a email about the company’s study.
The major downtick, Chitika says, occurred from December to January, when Android tablet sales were particularly strong over the Christmas gift-giving season. iPad share of U.S. and Canadian web traffic dropped from 92 percent in October 2012 to 80.5 percent in February, before rebounding slightly to 81.9 percent in March.
The loss in comparative browser share by itself doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple is losing the tablet battle. After all, the market is still expanding. But it does mean that Android is starting to gain some traction in what has been an extremely difficult market for it to crack.
Even with the introduction of the long-awaited and well-received iPad mini.