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Apple swallows sharp drop in tablet share

Cupertino starts to feel the pinch of cheaper alternatives from Samsung, Amazon

Apple swallows sharp drop in tablet share
Apple saw a drop in market share to around 50% in the third quarter from 66% in Q2.

Apple Inc saw its share of the global tablet market dip to around 50% in the third quarter from 66% in Q2, Bloomberg reported.

Demand soared for Samsung and Amazon alternatives to the iPad range in the past three months and analysts suggested the slowdown in iPad sales was due consumers' anticipation of the iPad mini. The miniature tablet debuted with a $329 to $659 price tag in a market that has a glut of cheaper alternatives.

"A sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new iPad mini," Tom Mainelli, research director for tablets at IDC, said in a report released today.

"Now that the new mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter. However, we believe the mini's relatively high $329 starting price leaves plenty of room for Android vendors to build upon the success they achieved in the third quarter."

Worldwide tablet shipments totaled $27.8m in the period, an increase of 50% from a year earlier IDC reported. Samsung shipped 5.1m devices in the third quarter, more than double the number from the previous period. Amazon's market share increased to 9% from 4.8%.

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