4th quarter really fab for Samsung tab sales

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4th quarter really fab for Samsung tab sales

Samsung Electronics more than doubled its share of the tablet computer market in the fourth quarter, gaining on segment leader Apple as total unit shipments jumped 75 percent, research firm IDC said yesterday.

Worldwide tablet sales surged to 52.5 million units in the period, IDC said. Samsung’s market share jumped to 15 percent from 7.3 percent a year earlier, while Apple’s dropped to 44 percent from 52 percent.

New products, lower average prices and increased holiday spending all contributed to the surge in demand for tablets, IDC said. Apple’s iPad faced stronger competition from Samsung tablets based on Google’s Android software and Microsoft’s Windows 8, though it held the top spot as sales benefited from the introduction of the iPad Mini and a fourth-generation device, IDC said.

“New product launches from the category’s top vendors, as well as new entrant Microsoft, led to a surge in consumer interest and very robust shipment totals during the holiday season,” said Tom Mainelli, IDC’s research director for tablets. “The record-breaking quarter stands in stark contrast to the PC market, which saw shipments decline.”

Amazon.com was in third place with 12 percent of shipments, IDC said, followed by Asustek Computer and Barnes & Noble. Amazon increased shipments of its Kindle Fire tablets to 6 million in the fourth quarter from 4.7 million a year earlier, boosting the online retailer’s share to 12 percent from 8.3 percent in the previous three months, IDC said.

Even as Samsung’s shipments more than tripled from a year earlier to 7.9 million units, the Suwon-based company’s market share held steady at its third-quarter level of 15 percent, according to IDC. Apple, which shipped 22.9 million iPads in the recent period, saw its slice of the market shrink from 46 percent in the third quarter.

Microsoft’s Surface tablet didn’t land a spot in the top five, shipping less than 900,000 units, the research firm said. The company introduced Surface, its first computer, in late October in an effort to blunt the effect of declining sales of personal computers. Bloomberg
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