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Amazon Kindle eating into Apple's tablet dominance

business Updated: Jan 07, 2013 12:15 IST

New data shows that the iPhone 5 is growing in popularity in the US but that the iPad is losing market share to Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets.

According to the latest data from online ad network and data analytics firm Chitika Insights concerning smartphone and tablet web traffic over the holiday period in the US and Canada, Apple's iPhone 5 made a 1.1 percent gain over December 2012, giving it a 8.27 percent share of the North American smartphone market. Samsung devices also performed well, with the Galaxy SIII gaining 1 percent (it now has a 4.29 percent market share) and its Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note II phablets increasing their share by 0.17 percent, giving the oversized devices a 1.02 percent share.

The most recent smartphone figures from comScore, also released this week, show similar gains for the three months up to November 2012. Samsung smartphone handsets accounted for 26.9 percent of new smartphone activations in the US market in the month before the holiday season (up by 1.2 percentage points), while Apple's iPhones accounted for 18.5 percent (up 1.4 percentage points), giving the company's operating system, iOS, a 35 percent market share, compared with Android's 53.7 percent.

Unlike Chitika's data, which is based on web and mobile ad impressions, comScore's results are based on surveying 30,000 US mobile subscribers.

Chitika also monitored tablet activity over December and discovered that while the iPad still accounts for 78.86 percent of tablet-generated web traffic, it saw its market share fall by 7.14 percent. Conversely, Amazon increased its market share by 3.03 percent, its Kindle Fire tablets now accounting for 7.51 percent of the market. Even Microsoft's Surface RT saw a usage bump of 0.17 percent, which translates as a 0.4 percent share of the market.

As Apple prepares to publish its latest quarterly sales figures on January 23, a projection by Rob Cihra of Evercore Partners expects the firm to reveal global iPhone sales of 50 million (a 35% year-on-year increase) and iPad sales totaling 24 million (up 56% on the same period in 2011).