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Jan 02, 2014 03:38 PM EST

Apple Loses Ground In Tablet Market, Gains More In Smartphone Share (And Still Dominates Both)


The iPhone is still worth the price of admission; the iPad even more so, though it's losing sales to other tablet makers, according to consumer trends over the holiday season. Already dominating the smart phone market with a 53.5 percent share before the hype leading to Christmas and the deals after it, iPhones increased their portion by 1.8 percent between Dec. 20 and Dec. 29, according to Chitika, the online advertising network that conducted the study. All of the remaining top companies lost ground, besides Google, which remained the same but controls just .7 percent of the industry anyway (on the back of its Nexus line of phones). Even the category of "other" lost .3 percent of the total pie. Samsung, number two in total market share at 23.7 percent, experienced the greatest loss from before and after Christmas when its piece shrunk by .8 percent.

Chitika cautions that the percentages will likely peel most of the way back to non-holiday levels in time. Still, the results bear some meaning for the future. In a paper researching the efficacy of their own methods last year, study executors confirmed that the results were legitimate and not obtained by chance.

"Although these figures help identify the overall trend within the North American market, keep in mind that the precise traffic share changes observed directly following Christmas are likely to moderate slightly in the coming weeks and months as usage returns to non-holiday levels," Chikita wrote on its website.

Apple's iPads, of which the Air is widely considered the best of the year (and best ever), didn't fare as well this spending season against its fellow tablet makers. Their business lost 1.3 percent of their dominant market share, which is still at 76.1 percent. Amazon and its Kindle Fire experienced the greatest boost (.6percent; the second consecutive year it's finished with the greatest post-Christmas increase), followed by Microsoft/Surface (.5 percent), Samsung/Galaxy (.3 percent), and Google/Nexus (.1 percent).

"While Apple's iPad is unlikely to relinquish its crown as top driver of tablet Web traffic in the forseeable future, Amazon's Kindle Fire has performed very well for a second consecutive year, and Microsoft's notable year-over-year rise in the space, from 0.4% share to 2.3%, underscores the market's more "wide open" nature," Chitika remarked on the expanding nature of the tablet market.

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