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Apple appears to have hit a brick wall in the first three months of 2014 where iPad growth is concerned, but it turns out they may not be alone: Consumers are finding few compelling reasons to upgrade existing tablets.
IDC published the results of its quarterly worldwide tablet shipments on Thursday, and judging from those numbers, Apple wasn't the only consumer electronics manufacturer who faced the music during the first three months of the year.
Apple announced last week that it had shipped 16.4 million iPads during the first quarter of 2014, a number that disappointed analysts who were expecting sales more in the neighborhood of 19 million units. It's also a steep drop from Cupertino's previous quarter with 26 million units, as well as year-over-year shipments of 19.5 million.
As it turns out, Apple's rivals suffered a similar fate, which IDC program vice president of devices and displays Tom Mainelli blamed on the "rise of large-screen phones and consumers who are holding on to their existing tablets for ever longer periods of time."
Apple still holds a commanding lead in overall tablet market share at 32.5 percent, with the iPad maker's only real threat coming from Samsung with 22.3 percent, a year-over-year increase from 17.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013. ASUS comes in a distant third with five percent, followed by Lenovo and Amazon.
Curiously, 34.2 percent of the tablet market share is made up of everyone not listed above, which would include Microsoft and its newly acquired Nokia devices and services division.
IDC notes that Android continues to be the dominant mobile operating system with a roughly two-thirds share of the market, although Windows devices including "sleeper hits" like the two-in-one ASUS T100 appear to be appealing to consumers looking for a tablet that's "good enough."
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