SAN FRANCISCO—Apple Inc.' share of the media tablet market fell to 55 percent in the third quarter, the lowest it has been since the company launched the iPad and defined the category in 2010, according to new data from ABI Research Inc.
While Apple has maintained its dominance in the tablet market for 10 straight quarters, the firm surrendered 14 points of market share in the third quarter, mainly to Android-based offerings from Amazon, Google and Samsung, ABI (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) said.
"With the introduction of a smaller, lower-cost iPad mini, Apple has acknowledged Android’s beachhead of 7-inch-class tablets, though at the same time, it has failed to deliver a knock-out punch through innovation, pricing, and availability during the most critical selling period of the year," said Jeff Orr, senior practice director at ABI.
ABI analysts don't believe that the iPad mini has challenged 7-inch Android tablets for market share. Instead, the firm said, analysts believe iPad mini has caused demand for standard iPad models to shift down-market. Limited availability of iPad mini could be the saving grace as end-of-year buying ramps, ABI said.
Android now powers more than 44 percent of all tablets shipped, ABI said.
"As the OS of choice for the majority of device OEMs, we expect the Android ecosystem to continue growing in numbers—new manufacturers, better device choices for reaching more markets and more developers finding value from apps and content," Orr said.