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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.