Android tablet makers continued to take market share away from Apple in the third quarter of 2013, according to new data released from IDC. The research firm says that iPads are still leading the way, with a chart-topping 14.1 million units sold last quarter, but that Apple’s market share fell to 29.6 percent within that time frame.
That’s a notable drop from the 40.6 percent market share Apple held at this point last year, and it’s allowed competitors like Samsung, Asus and Lenovo to gain some ground. Samsung remains the only viable threat to take away Apple’s crown, as it shipped 9.7 million units last quarter, which is a 123 percent year-over-year increase. The Korean company’s market share has jumped from 12.4 percent to 20.3 percent since this time last year.
But before we declare that Apple is doomed (again), it’s important to understand that these numbers were taken at the tail end of the current crop of iPads’ life cycle. As we noted when Apple released its latest quarterly earnings report this week, sales of the new iPad Air and Retina iPad mini will almost assuredly lead to an increase in both Apple’s tablet sales and market share by the end of the next quarter. Just how large that increase will be is what’s worth watching.