Apple’s iPad still tablet market leader, but competition continues to gain ground

Broken iPad

Following its 2010 release, Apple's iPad has faced growing competition for its tablet market share dominance. The iPad's market share  was as high as 85 percent in 2010, slipping to 58 percent by the end of 2011. Now, according to ABI research, the iPad's market share has slipped to 55 percent, still good enough to be the leader, but not as high as many predicted.

Senior practice director at ABI Research Jeff Orr“:

With the introduction of a smaller, lower-cost iPad mini, Apple has acknowledged Android’s beachhead of 7-inch-class tablets, though at the same time, it has failed to deliver a knock-out punch through innovation, pricing, and availability during the most critical selling period of the year.” 

Competition from Amazon's Kindle Fire line of tablets, Samsung, and Barnes & Noble, with their recently announced Nook HD, continue to chip away at iPad market share with price points that appeal to those looking to simply get a tablet, just not the best one (see: iPad). Even software manufacturers are jumping into the tablet fray with Microsoft now selling the Surface.

When one looks at the numerous other options now in the tablet world, the iPad's 55 percent market share remains impressive. The problem Apple will continue to face, much like it has with the iPhone, is a market with many, often cheaper, choices for consumers.