Apple iPad continues to dominate as tablet market growth rate slows

The worldwide tablet market saw a slowdown in growth during the fourth quarter of 2013, according to new figures from IDC.

The figures show the worldwide tablet market reached 76.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, representing a 62.4% quarter-on-quarter and a 28.2% year-on-year growth rate.

While these figures are impressive, the growth rate is now significantly slower than the 87.1% year-on-year growth rate reported during the fourth quarter of 2012.

According to IDC tablets research director Tom Mainelli, the US tablet market begins to mature, while strong growth rates in other markets are experiencing slower growth rates for tablet sales.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the US are reaching high levels of consumer saturation and while emerging markets continue to show strong growth this has not been enough to sustain the dramatic worldwide growth rates of years past,” Mainelli says.

“We expect commercial purchases of tablets to continue to accelerate in mature markets, but softness in the consumer segment—brought about by high penetration rates and increased competition for the consumer dollar—point to a more challenging environment for tablets in 2014 and beyond.”

In terms of market share, Apple’s iPad continued to dominate the market during the fourth quarter of 2013.

The iPad maker shipped 26 million units and 33.8% market share during the quarter, compared to 22.9 million units and 38.2% for the same quarter a year earlier.

Second placed Samsung grew both its shipment volume for the quarter to 14.5 million units (up from 7.8 million a year earlier) and 18.8% market share (up from 13% a year earlier).

Amazon experienced a slight fall in volumes – from 5.9 million for the quarter to 5.8 million – alongside a year-on-year market share fall from 9.9% to 7.6%.

Meanwhile, there was strong growth at both Asus and Lenovo, with Lenovo growing from 3.1 million to 3.9 million units, while Lenovo grew from just 800,000 units to 3.4 million.

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