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Apple-Samsung tablet share gap shrinks by 55%

Overall segment growth stagnant, reaches only single digits

Apple-Samsung tablet share gap shrinks by 55%
Samsung is gaining on market rival Samsung in the tablets and 2-in-1 market.

The gap between Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics in global shares of tablet shipments is shrinking, according to the latest figures from International Data Corporation's (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.

In the first quarter of last year Samsung had gained considerable ground on Apple, commanding 17.5% of unit volumes to the iMaker's 40.2%, but this year those figures stand at 22.3% and 32.5%. That is a decrease in the percentage-point gap of 55% and represents market-share growth for Samsung of 27.4%, while its US rival's share has slipped by 19.2%.

Samsung saw its shipments grow by 31.8% from 8.5m in Q1 2013 to 11.2m, but Apple was subjected to a 16% drop in volumes from 19.5m units in the first quarter last year to 16.4 this year.

According to IDC, overall worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 shipments slipped to 50.4m units in the first calendar quarter of 2014 representing a sequential decline of 35.7% from the high-volume holiday quarter and just 3.9% growth over the same period a year ago. The slowdown was felt across operating systems and screen sizes and likely points to an even more challenging year ahead for the category.

"The rise of large-screen phones and consumers who are holding on to their existing tablets for ever longer periods of time were both contributing factors to a weaker-than-anticipated quarter for tablets and 2-in-1s," said Tom Mainelli, IDC programme vice president, Devices and Displays.

"In addition, commercial growth has not been robust enough to offset the slowing of consumer shipments."

Rounding out the top five were ASUS (5%), Lenovo (4.1%), and Amazon (1.9%).

"With roughly two-thirds share, Android continues to dominate the market," said Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.

"Although its share of the market remains small, Windows devices continue to gain traction thanks to sleeper hits like the Asus T100, whose low cost and 2-in-1 form factor appeal to those looking for something that's 'good enough'."

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