On both the smartphone and tablet fronts, Apple has lost ground to rivals this past quarter, according to the latest market data from Strategy Analytics and ABI. In the tablet world, Apple has seen iOS's market share drop from 65 percent to 57 percent, while Android is now the platform of choice on 41 percent of tablets, up from 29 percent a year ago, Strategy Analytics reported.
As for smartphones, Apple enjoyed a 58 percent boost in shipments year over year, from 17.1 million to 26.9 million, according to ABI Research. However, Samsung's smartphone shipments soared 109 percent year over year, from 26.5 million to 55.5 million.
Notably, the battle for mobile supremacy is far from over. First off, the holiday season is approaching, so time will tell which vendors' wares end up being the must-have techie gift of the year. Second, Microsoft is on the brink of rolling out its shiny new smartphone and tablet platforms, which could shift the playing field.
In total, global tablet shipments hit 24.7 million units during Q3, up from 17.2 million year over year. The represents 43 percent annual growth, compared with 289 percent annual growth in Q2 2011. According to Strategy Analytics, this was the weakest growth rate since the modern tablet industry began in Q2 2010.
"Demand for tablets slowed due to ongoing economic uncertainty and consumers holding off purchases in anticipation of multiple new models, like the iPad Mini, during the upcoming Q4 holiday season," King said.
Overall, Apple shipped a "disappointing" 14 million iPads worldwide, according to Peter King, director at Strategy Analytics, seeing its market share drop from 64 percent a year ago to 57 percent. King said that Apple's slowdown allowed the Android community to make gains, and Android's global share of the tablet market now stands at a record 41 percent. No single Android vendor has come close to Apple in terms of volume, but "the collective weight of dozens of hardware partners, such as Asus, Samsung, and Nook, is helping Google's Android platform to register a growing presence in tablets," said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics.