Samsung, Amazon emerge as Apple's only tablet rivals… but barely

Apple iPad Tablet Demand

More than 100 media tablets were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011 as the industry struggled to respond to Apple’s iPad. The company’s tablet burst onto the scene less than a year earlier, and Apple’s rivals saw a tremendous opportunity in the revival of the consumer tablet market. Few success stories emerged, however, and new tablet models were few and far between a year later at CES 2012.

Apple’s success in the space continued, however, and the Cupertino, California-based company found even more success with its second- and third-generation models. Apple sold 3 million iPads during the tablet’s first 80 days of availability in April 2010, and its most recent iPad sold 3 million units in just three days.

While a number of companies continue to push forward in the tablet market, a recent survey conducted by ChangeWave found that Apple’s only competition comes from two sources — Amazon and Samsung — and neither company poses what might be considered a substantial threat. ChangeWave surveyed 2,893 consumers to gauge North American tablet demand, and the firm found that Apple’s iPad is still the overwhelming leader in the space.

Among consumers looking to purchase a tablet in the next 90 days, 73% said they will purchase Apple’s iPad. Amazon’s Kindle Fire was the iPad’s nearest rival in terms of demand, garnering interest from only 8% of respondents. Just 6% of those surveyed said they had plans to purchase a Galaxy Tab model from Samsung, and no other tablet vendor saw interest from more than 3% of respondents.

“When it comes to consumer demand for individual manufacturers, 73% of planned tablet buyers are still reporting they’ll purchase an iPad,” ChangeWave analysts said in their report. “And while that’s down a bit from the extraordinary demand levels seen at the time of the March new iPad launch, it’s a clear sign that Apple’s massive domination of the market is continuing going forward.”

The firm continued, noting that despite being the iPad’s closest rival among respondents, demand for Amazon’s Kindle Fire dropped by two-thirds in May compared to when the tablet launched last November. A recent report from IDC stated that Amazon’s share of the tablet market tumbled to 4% in the first quarter this year, down from 16.8% in the prior quarter.

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