Apple hasn’t launched a new tablet since November last year and it looks like age might finally be catching up to the iPad line. According to data released on Thursday by market research firm TrendForce, the iPad’s share of the global tablet market fell to its lowest point in history during the second quarter this year. Alongside its June-quarter earnings report on Tuesday, Apple revealed that iPad shipments fell dramatically to 14.6 million units, down from 17 million units in the same quarter last year. The disparity is clearly a result of the shift in Apple’s iPad launch schedule, but that doesn’t change the fact that Apple is losing ground as rivals pick up the pace.
Apple’s 14.6 million iPads were good for 35.5% of the global tablet market in the second quarter this year, according to estimates from TrendForce’s display research division, WitsView. The firm noted that iPad sales plummeted more than 25% sequentially from the 19.5 million iPad tablets Apple sold during the March quarter.
Samsung shipped an estimated 8.8 million tablets last quarter, according to TrendForce’s data. That figure is good for a 21.5% share of the global tablet market, up sequentially from 20.2% despite the fact that shipment volume declined slightly. An even bigger chunk of the global tablet market was occupied collectively by Eastern white-box tablet vendors, which combined to ship 9.7 million tablets good for a 23.5% share of the global market.
Apple’s tablet market share may fall further in the third quarter this year, but the company is expected to launch a completely redesigned fifth-generation iPad this fall, as well as an updated iPad mini. Competition is heating up, however — Google just unveiled the new Nexus 7, which undercuts Apple’s iPad mini by $100 despite featuring substantially better specs, and Amazon currently has three exciting new tablets in the works, as BGR exclusively revealed in a recent report.
TrendForce estimates that global tablet shipments in 2013 will total 196.5 million units, including 153.2 million branded tablets and 43.3 million white-box units.