Apple continues to rule the tablet market with the iPad, although its distance from rivals has become smaller. The reason? Slates are becoming cheaper and smaller and taking away sales from the Apple iPad. Citi’s Apple analysts have made such claims in a new note from yesterday.


Sales of the larger sized iPad didn’t even get up 2%, only increasing by 1.8% on a year over year basis in Q4. IDC’s data is showing the steep decline with interesting details. Apple is seeing its sales slip in developed markets like the US and Japan, very important for the company. The iPad is being replaced by the iPad Mini apparently and other 7 inch slates from Samsung or Amazon or even ASUS. Apple has a market share of about 39%, much decreased from its peak of 56.8% in the second quarter of last year.

Amazon snatched 15.5% of the market, while Samsung took away 13.1%. There’s no reason to panic, though, as the decrease in market share happens gradually and it’s a normal process. The market is flooded with cheap and sometimes low quality tablets, that you can’t really compare with an iPad. First time tablet buyers sometimes are easy to fool, so they add to the market share “by mistake”, if I can say so.