Rumors and leaks may have hurt Apple in the tablet market during this year’s third quarter, resulting in a significant loss of market share, a report Monday says.
The Cupertino company went from controlling 65.5% of the market during the 2012 second quarter to 50.4% in the third quarter, according to IDC, a tech analytics firm.
IDC said it believes the rumors surrounding the iPad mini led a “sizable percentage of consumers” who were interested in getting an iPad to wait and see what Apple would offer and to sit out making a purchase during the third quarter.
But with a line of new iPad mini tablets and the new fourth-generation iPad, Apple may regain the lost market share in the fourth quarter, IDC said.
“Now that the new mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, are both shipping, we expect Apple to have a very good quarter,” the report says.
But with the iPad mini’s high-end $329 price, IDC says, Apple’s competitors have “plenty of room” to build on the gains they made in the third quarter.
Amazon, for instance, nearly doubled its market share in just one quarter, and it now controls 9% of the tablet market thanks to the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, which debuted in September.
But second place belongs to Apple’s bitter rival, Samsung of South Korea. It shipped more than 5 million tablets during the third quarter and saw its market share increase from just under 10% to 18.4%.
“The company offers a wide range of tablet offerings across multiple screen sizes and colors, and that clearly resonated with more buyers” in the third quarter, said IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers Program Manager Ryan Reith in the report.
Closing out the top four was Asus, which had an 8.6% market share. It builds Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, which launched this summer.
“Competitors are turning up the pressure on market leader Apple,” Reith said in the report.