Apple Renews Dominance in Latest Tablet Sales

Global tablet shipments reached a record high of 52.5 million units shipped in Q4 of 2012, increasing over 75 percent year-over-year (29.2 million units in Q4 2011). The meteoric number also saw a 74 percent increase from Q3 2012 sales (30 million units), according to IDC.

“We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn’t disappoint,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets, at IDC. “New product launches from the category’s top vendors, as well as new entrant Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), led to a surge in consumer interest and very robust shipments totals during the holiday season. The record-breaking quarter stands in stark contrast to the PC market, which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time in more than five years.”

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Doing particularly well was Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), who can thank the release of their iPad Mini and fourth generation iPad for their 48 percent growth from the same quarter last year.

Another strong contender is Samsung who shipped 7.9 million units in Q4, increasing its market share to 15.1 percent—a 263 percent increase from the same quarter a year ago.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) saw its market share increase from 8.3 percent the previous quarter to 11.5 percent, selling a total of 6 million tablets. Another indicator of Amazon’s continued strength is their year-over-year growth of 26.8 percent…

In contrast Asus, supplier of the Google-branded (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus 7, saw its share decrease from 7.8-5.8 percent compared to the previous quarter, although its year-over-year increase skyrocketed 403 percent.

The IDC report shows that Apple, while losing ground in the smartphone market, remains head honcho in the tablet business. However, the tech giant faces stiff competition from burgeoning companies like Samsung and Asus, not to mention the more meticulous Amazon. And although Microsoft somewhat flopped during the first quarter of their tablet venture (shipping just 900,000 units), they are yet another competitor in a market that Apple has dominated since it was popularized.

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Here’s how the Nasdaq, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Google traded technically this past week:

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