Newly released data from online ad network firm Chitika showed that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) emerged as the biggest overall winner in the North American smartphone and tablet markets after the holiday season. As seen in the graph above, Apple was the only smartphone company to gain usage share among all of the major device makers.
Chitika compiled its holiday season data by sampling some of the tens of millions of smartphone and tablet online ad impressions from its network from December 20 through December 29. As noted by Chitika, “Apple users still generate the highest share [of] North American Web traffic as compared to any other manufacturer.”
Every other device maker either lost or maintained their market share. However, Apple increased its share of the North American smartphone market by 1.8 percent to finish the season with a 54.3 percent share. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) saw no growth over the holiday season but maintained its 0.7 percent market share. Google-owned Motorola saw a slight decline of 0.1 percent to end the season with a 3.5 percent share.
Samsung (SSNLF.PK), Apple’s primary rival and the No. 1 smartphone vendor in the world, emerged from the holiday season as the biggest loser in the North American smartphone market. The Korea-based smartphone maker lost 0.8 percent market share to finish the holiday season with a 23.7 percent share.
Although the iPhone giant saw the biggest smartphone gains over the holiday season, it lost more tablet market share in North America than any other major tablet vendor. However, the iPad maker’s 1.3 percent decline in tablet market share doesn’t appear very significant when viewed in the context of Apple’s overwhelming dominance of the North American tablet market: Chitika reports that Apple still emerged from the holiday season with a 76.1 percent share of the market. The online ad company also pointed out that the iPad’s relatively high price may have made it a less popular gift to give during the holiday season.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) was the biggest winner in post-holiday tablet market share gain. The maker of the Kindle grew its market share by 0.6 percent over the holiday season to end with a total market share of 9.4 percent. Chitika said this is the second year in a row that Amazon has posted the largest tablet usage share gain after the Christmas holiday. Amazon sells the Kindle for a relatively low price, which likely fueled its continuing popularity as a holiday gift. Like Chitika, app analytics firm Flurry also noted the Amazon Kindle’s low price as a reason for its significant gains during the gift-giving holiday season.
Chitika highlighted that Apple’s consistent dominance of the smartphone market following the holidays suggests “the continental smartphone marketplace has largely reached maturity” and will likely have “only minor volatility going forward.”
On the other hand, the “dramatic share variations” seen in the domestic tablet market suggest it is more “wide open.” Still, Chitika said “Apple’s iPad is unlikely to relinquish its crown as top driver of tablet Web traffic in the foreseeable future.”
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