Apple Nabs 70 Percent Of Global Tablet Market

According to a recent study from analyst firm IHS iSuppli, Apple "remains the king of all media tablets," having shipped 17 million iPads during the second quarter, a hefty 44.1 percent jump from the 11.8 million it shipped during the previous quarter. The Cupertino, Calif., giant's market share, as a result, jumped from 58 percent to 69.6 percent in just three months.

The last time Apple has held such a large portion of the tablet market was the first quarter of 2011, when it claimed a 70 percent share.

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The runner-up spot in the tablet market was awarded to Samsung, which shipped 2.2 million of its Galaxy Tab and other Android-based devices during the quarter. Apple is still leaps and bounds ahead, however, in terms of worldwide market share, with Samsung accounting for a comparably miniscule 9.2 percent.

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Meanwhile, Samsung is surpassing its rival by a long shot in the smartphone arena. Earlier this month, iSuppli released a separate report suggesting the Korean tech giant sold nearly 36 million smartphones in the second quarter, a figure that trumped Apple's 26 million iPhones.

iSuppli attributed much of Apple's success in the tablet market to its robust application ecosystem and iOS developer community. Consumers are placing a growing emphasis on the software running on media tablets, the firm speculated, rather than the tablet hardware itself.

"A major component of Apple’s success to date is the company’s well-developed ecosystem of content and applications it had in place before entering the tablet market, and its absolute control of the hardware, software and operating system," said Rhoda Alexander, director, tablet and monitor research for HIS, in a statement. "When a customer buys a media tablet, what he or she is really doing is purchasing a key to that ecosystem, not just a piece of hardware."

The new trend toward 7-inch tablets, rather than the larger, 10-inch designs touted by the iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Tab device, might shake the tablet market up, iSuppli suggested. Amazon was pegged as the third largest tablet maker by Apple and Samsung, riding the success of its 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet. What's more, Google launched its new 7-inch Nexus tablet, generating further buzz around the smaller tablet form factor.

Apple and Samsung also will face increased competition from Microsoft, which launched its own homegrown Surface tablet in June. But given the success of Apple's third-generation iPad, coupled with the likelihood of it introducing its own 7-inch tablet this fall, Google and Microsoft will still face an uphill battle.

"With the expected entrance of the 7-inch version of the iPad in September, Apple is sending a clear message that it plans to dominate this market over the long term," iSuppli wrote in the report. "Apple’s major media tablet rivals, Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., hope to challenge Apple in the second half of the year, but will be facing formidable headwinds with no sign that the market leader is backing off of its aggressive strategy in the market.”

iSuppli said Apple has sold more than 85 million iPads since it first launched the tablet in April 2010.