Remember the days when analysts and Wall Street observers believed the iPad would continue to lead tablet sales for years, and Android competitors still needed work? Funny how time flies. Although Apple isn’t laughing, there is talk Google could overtake Apple in 2013. The problem is the iPad’s lead over a pack of Android alternatives is shrinking to that when the Apple tablet was introduced in 2010.

Also, remember all those non-Android slates from HP and RIM? Yeah, neither does anyone else. That’s the other problem…

According to ABI Research, the iPad held 55 percent of tablets shipped during the third quarter of this year. That’s a decent percentage, until you learn it is a 14-percent drop from the previous quarter.

But the concerns over the iPad’s future don’t just stop there. It was just last year when research firm Gartner forecast it would take Android tablets until 2015 to earn 38 percent of the market. Google now has 44 percent of the tablet market.

The failure of HP’s webOS and RIM’s PlayBook likely fueled Android’s growth in tablets, according to TechCrunch. For Apple, HP and RIM were welcomed additions to the tablet party – the more fissures in the Android attack, the better.

“The lack of competitive alternatives has helped Android gain share much faster than most originally predicted, meaning a tipping point might not be that far off,” writes the tech blog’s Darrell Etherington. One of the chief slams against Android was that the many players meant Apple had a fractious and disorganized opposition – easy, peasy to overwhelm.

Well, that many-headed hydra has pared down to some lean, mean competitive machines: Amazon’s Kindle, which the giant Internet retailer seems happy to sell at cost so long as the device means more ebooks, music and apps shipped.

Then there is Google and the Nexus 7 – one of the few tech companies that could stand toe-to-toe with Apple when it comes to bank accounts. Finally, there is Samsung, the South Korean conglomerate which is the Timex of tech – it takes a licking and keeps on ticking. No matter how many patent lawsuits it loses, Samsung just keeps churning out the Galaxy tablets, Notes and smartphones.

Which isn’t to say all is lost for Apple in terms of tablets. It might be good for Apple to channel its underdog image for a while. As Etherington correctly notes, Android for some time has lead the iPhone in smartphone market share.

Are Apple execs crying?

Sure – all the way to the bank.

Apple could take a lesson from the long-distance runner: it’s no fun leading the pack, since everyone is gunning for you. Give Android the spotlight for a while – and the bullseye.

Would it be terrible if Apple was #2 unit-wise in both tablets and smartphones?

  • Supafly_Boy

    I really have had enough of these analysts pulling pie in the sky predictions out of their ass*s! The only tablet manufacturer that reveals actual sales figures is Apple. The rest are afraid to reveal their actual sales because of what it will reveal about the state of their business.

    If manufacturers like Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft are unwilling to reveal sales figures then what on earth are these analyst basing their numbers on?

    According to many web traffic measurements

    iOS accounts for the vast majority of mobile web usage, if iPad market share was on the decline, surely this would be reflected in the stats?

    I prefer to rely on cold, hard data, not the predictions of some brainless analysts sticking their fingers in the wind.

    • Dan

      Actually I think he is sticking his finger (or thumb) somewhere else

  • becuz too many goats buying tandriod !!!

    • is that anything like the sheep buying iPads? just wondering.

      • dont wonder ur also an andriod goat !!!

      • Lordthree

        Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell

      • MagicDrumSticks

        Have fun in heaven with your angels, I’ll be ****ing my devil girls every night

  • there are 2 ipads.. normal and mini… there are 30 tablets running

    • Lordthree

      30? Ha! More like 300!

      • CollegiateLad

        Easily over 100.

  • Tardroid

    false claims.
    slow news day?

    • CollegiateLad

      There’s little integrity or accountability with tech blogs… Every story is from some anonymous source or someone with a horrible track record. They make up stories all the time and conveniently hide behind anonymous sources.

      Remember when Steve Jobs tried to smuggle Chinese stars on a plane?


  • CollegiateLad

    Even the worst of analysts don’t believe this.

  • I dont understand how tech blogs can be so stupid comparing Apple iPad with all Android tablets. I not only think its unfair but also extremely stupid. iPad is the only tablet with iOS and there a whole bunch of anrdoid tablets. Isnt this comparison really stupid

    • Lordthree

      +1. Not to mention nobody is USING other tablets. Dunno why idownload blog is painting this like Apple has faltered.

      • Exactly , Recently iDownloadblog posts are becoming more like Android blogs.

      • chjode

        Aye. Apple failure means high-fives all around for the folks at iDownloadBlog, apparently. Here’s a tip guys. If you aren’t going to move your pro-Android news to iSamsungBlog, perhaps don’t write link-bait headlines designed to alienate your long-time readers, who by very definition are Apple iOS users.

      • MagicDrumSticks

        Times change and so do the quality of products. Apple was innovative at one point but its time to move on. Unless you want to sink with your ship, I suggest you get off.

    • CollegiateLad

      They do this all the time. They pit every android vendor against the iPhone or the ipad to say android is winning. It’s like they think when Samsung has a great quarter, they split the profits with HTC or Motorola. lol

    • Oh man here we go again, these fanboys are whining. Go get your pacifiers fanboys you’ll feel better. Enjoy:)

      • Tell me whats is wrong in my point , Dont simply stamp the fanboy tag genius. Do u have a valid point against my argument

  • I just want to see tablet manufacturers release sales numbers. That’s all I ask for. Apple is the only one doing it.

    • CollegiateLad

      They won’t. They will only tell how many they shipped to stores.

  • Niels Zomer

    Who’s the dickhead that’s writing these articles? How the fuck are you comparing all Android tablets vs Apple’s iPad? It’s the seem ridiculous comparison as the one with all Android smartphones vs the iPhone.

  • Obsidian71

    No. Some of us knew the “talking heads” were wrong. Apple has never set themselves up as the volume leader beyond iPods. Gartner? I wouldn’t place one iota in faith in those fools do they ever predict anything correctly? In the end it’s one company versus many and Apple doesn’t want to play in the “sell tablets at cost” game. End of story..they don’t care about overall marketshare they want the “right” marketshare which is heavily slanted towards people that actually spend money.

  • Hyr3m

    Yes, it would be terrible if Apple was #2 unit-wise in both tablets and smartphones : they don’t deserve 2nd place… they should be dead-last, just like their products already are in terms of functionality.

    • Last time I saw IPad and iPhone were products of Apple and Android was an operating system. I think some guys live in a different planet. If you compare iPad and Galaxy Tab or iPad vs XXX Android tablet that would be real comparison , not the single iPad vs every Android tablet on market . LAME TROLL

      • Hyr3m

        So you’re saying Apple’s products don’t have operating systems ?

        What the fuck are you on about ? I wasn’t even talking about Android… for all you know I could’ve had windows 8 in mind (which btw is eons ahead of both Android and iOS in terms of tablet functionalities -> you get a computer, not a toy).

        It’s a fact that iOS is one of the worst widely spread smartphone/tablet operating systems on earth. It has less functionalities than all of its competitors. The functionalities of a device are mostly dependent on the OS it uses. Therefore, Apple is dead-last in terms of functionality.

        My point was that Apple doesn’t deserve 2nd place in terms of unit sales (or shipping) because their proprietary OS is the worst functionality-wise.

        Whether the competition makes their own devices and/or operating systems or borrow one or the other from another company is IRRELEVANT. Apple is not going to suck more because the Microsoft Surface came out (they, like Apple, make both the hardware and software) or suck less because Samsung uses Google’s OS. Apple sucks on its own and it’s an insult to the competitors to even compare their products to Apple’s toys.

      • You keep on living in you fantasy world of denial. I understand there is no point arguing with you and if you think Apple comes dead last so be it . Being a fanboy is much much better than being a hater like you . Wrath kills

      • Hyr3m

        In terms of functionality, they’re pretty far down the ladder yeah… and you’re in complete denial about that… probably because what you don’t know doesn’t exist…
        In terms of design Apple is pretty good…
        In terms of marketing Apple is (one of) the greatest companies ever…
        Unfortunately, in the tech world, design and marketing are irrelevant, functionality is the key word and they suck at it… it’s not my fault, nor google’s or microsoft’s…
        I don’t hate Apple or the people at Apple nor even the poor lobotomized fanboys… what I hate is what it represents for the computing industry: the end of an era of openness, collaboration and sharing, the end of common sense and logic. I want Apple to die before it can do more irreversible damage.

  • iamnotfan

    Competion is Good for end users ,Allways

  • Why are iTards so butt hurt when they read the truth about Crapple losing?

    What’s the problem comparing the entire Android tablet base to the entire iOS tablet base? Incase you didn’t know, Android gives hardware options just like Windows, and non-iSheeps want options.