Out of 10.1 million media tablets* shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010, which was more than double the 4.5 million shipped in the third quarter.
Apple's share, with the iPad, decreased from 93% in the 3rd quarter to 73% in the 4th qtr, which is still a strong showing, obviously. I was surprised it dropped down almost 20% though.
* "Media tablets" - per IDC - are tablet form factor devices with color displays larger than 5 in. and smaller than 14 in. running lightweight operating systems. This is in contrast to "tablet PC's" that run full PC operating systems.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab captured more than 17% share during the holiday season.
ArsTechnica's Chris Foresman Forrester reports that:
' Forrester researcher Sarah Rotman believes Amazon is best poised to give Apple the most credible threat to its dominating market position, assuming it could assemble a more general purpose tablet with a color screen" 'According to The Tracker analysis, the eReader market "picked up significantly in the fourth quarter" led by "strong sales of Amazon's Kindle" with significant gains from "competitors such as Pandigital, Barnes & Noble, Hanvon, and Sony among others."
In the 4th quarter (4Q10), the eReader market "more than doubled from the 3Q10, with 12.8 million units shipped, and eReader shipments were up more than 325% from 2009" when roughly 3 million units shipped."
IDC expects Apple to maintain a 70-80% share of the market.
Other media tablets
"The recently launched Motorola Xoom is a worthy competitor in function, although the relatively high price is expected to be a barrier to gaining significant share."
The Galaxy, with 32 gigs of storage and 3G cellular wireless access is available for $600 on a 2-year data plan of $20/mo. (for 1 gig of data used) and $30/mo. (for up to 5 gigs). The current Galaxy doesn't offer WiFi access.
The iPad, with 32 gigs of storage and 3G access has been available for $730 with option of a monthly data plan at $15/mo. for 250 Megs or $25 for the first 2 gigs.
Many more tablets are appearing on the scene. Android tablets are not as restricted (in what software apps you can use) but currently are somewhat crash-prone while the iPad is restricted but more stable.
' Amazon continued to lead the eReader market holding just over 48% share in 4Q10 and 2010 overall. Amazon's share recovered in 4Q10 with shipments of the refreshedThey say the Pandigital edged out Barnes and Noble for the 2nd spot in 4Q10 (another surprise). Barnes and Noble's NOOKcolor, LCD-based, is more expensive than e-Ink ereaders but offers fewer features than a full-fledged media tablet.
Kindle (3)(UK: K3)after dipping under 40% in 3Q10. '
Worldwide, Sony Reader shipments grew 80.7% during 4Q10 and exceeded 800,000 units for 2010. They're not much discussed in U.S. ereader forums though, due to higher pricing and no wireless features except in the highest-priced model.
COMIC STRIP of the day - from grimmy.com - Thanks to James of the Lake.
Enjoy it here.
Kindle 3's (UK: Kindle 3's), DX Graphite
Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.
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