Apple iPad Leading Tablet Market: ABI Report

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

The Apple iPad dominated the tablet market in Q3 2010, representing 93 percent of sales, an ABI report finds.

Computer maker Apple continues to lead the burgeoning tablet computer market with 93 percent of sales, according to ABI Research’s "Netbooks, MIDs, Media Tablets, and Mobile CE Market Data" report for the third quarter of 2010. The report documents the shipment, price and revenue data for media tablets, ebook readers and netbooks for that period. The report found 4.5 million of the devices shipped during the quarter.

Senior practice director Jeff Orr noted that over time, Apple’s first-to-market iPad advantage will inevitably erode to some extent. "ABI Research has been tracking media tablets since December 2009; future quarterly editions of this market data product will include market share tracking of all the major media tablet vendors," he said.

This year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, was dominated by competing tablet devices from vendors like Motorola, LG and Samsung—all of which run on a variation of Google’s Android operating system. The Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy 10.1 feature the "Honeycomb" edition of Android, the first version designed specifically for tablet computers.

Vendors of e-readers continued to do well in their market, bringing new products to consumers in time for the 2010 holiday shopping season. "The U.S. continues to be the leading market for ebook readers," said Orr. "The three top vendors, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony, are comfortably maintaining their top positions in it."

Barnes & Noble introduced a color version of its Nook reader—the first color model from a leading vendor—while Amazon debuted a third-generation Kindle. Along with their new capabilities, these products also introduced lower prices than earlier generations of the devices.

The report noted that the first half of 2010 was slow for netbooks, as relatively few new products were introduced. However, Orr points out, "The third quarter saw PC OEMs again breathe life into the segment by introducing new platforms that offered dual-core processors, and lighter/thinner devices with significantly better performance, sleek styling and visual appeal."

The company’s report, available for $500, includes forecasts for all ultra-mobile devices (UMDs), including media tablets, netbooks, UMPCs, mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and mobile broadband-enabled consumer electronics (CE) devices. Shipments and revenue for these devices are provided, including shipments and revenues for each type of UMD by region, platform, operating system and connectivity attach rates.