A total of 15.4 million iPads were sold by Apple in Q4 – up 39 per cent from the 11.1 million sold the previous quarter. However, its share of the tablet PC market dipped from 64 per cent to 57 per cent over the same period, due to strong demand for the company’s latest iPhone and to a smaller extent, the release of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet .
Rhoda Alexander, senior manager, tablet and monitor research for IHS, said: “Shipments of the iPadline fell short of IHS estimates in the fourth quarter as many loyal Apple customers devoted their dollars to shiny new alternatives.”
“The rollout of the iPhone 4S in October generated intense competition for Apple purchasers’ disposable income, doing more to limit iPad shipment growth than competition from the Kindle Fireand other media tablets .”
But IHS said it expects Apple to hit back with the Q2 launch of the third-generation iPad, which is expected to feature an improved 2048 x 1024 resolution and Siri – Apple’s mobile personal assistant software.
“Apple is set to reclaim its tablet market share when it commences volume shipments of the next version of the iPad, which is expected in the second quarter of this year,” IHS continued in its report.
“As with previous iPad releases, Apple is anticipated to stage a staggered rollout, introducing the new product in different countries around the globe as supply improves.”