Apple’s leadership in the tablet market was shaken slightly in the fourth quarter of 2011, but not by competitors like Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.
No, the iPad’s biggest rival was the newly introduced iPhone 4S.
According to a report issued Thursday by IHS’s iSuppli, the iPad’s share of the tablet market slipped to 57 percent from 64 percent in Q4 2011. But that decline was driven by its diminutive iOS sibling, not the Fire.
Said IHS’s Rhoda Alexander, “The rollout of the iPhone 4S in October generated intense competition for Apple purchasers’ disposable income, doing more to limit iPad shipment growth than competition from the Kindle Fire and other media tablets.”
Interesting, no? Seems the tablet market is looking more and more like the digital music player iPod market every day …
That said, the Fire performed pretty well. Amazon shipped 3.9 million Fires in the fourth quarter to claim 14.3 percent of the market. That makes it the world’s second-largest tablet vendor, surpassing Samsung, which has been in the market far longer and with many more devices.
“Kindle Fire shipments in the fourth quarter came right in line with the IHS early December forecast of 3.9 million units, representing a respectable start for the Fire.” Alexander explained. “However, the long-term viability of the product will hinge on the success of Amazon’s business gamble, which depends on tablet sales driving substantial new online merchandise sales at Amazon.com in order to attain profitability.”