Pie charts and graphs – who doesn't love 'em? It might be the colours or the pretty lines, or possibly just the affiliation to the word “pie”.
Anyway, thanks to our old friends at IDC we're looking at graphs again, this time in reference to the tablet market in Q3. And here's the take-home bit to, well, take home: Apple's tablet domination is finally slipping.
After all, the iPad maker has just seen its share of the global tablet market slide from 65% to 50% in three months – the lowest it's been since the iPad first launched.
And look who it is doing the biggest damage: it's Samsung, of course, which has jumped from under 10% to near 20% to eclipse that well-respected firm Others as the second biggest tablet player about. Honourable mentions also go to Asus and Amazon for the decent uptick in their own levels.
So what's it all about? The same answer – it seems – to so many of life's questions right now: the iPad Mini.
IDC reasons (not unfairly, I'd say, though it doesn't mean there aren't other reasons for the drop) that with the smaller iPad so widely leaked, and rumours of the uprated “iPad 4” also having been well reported, people simply held off spending – more so than in the case of better-kept Apple product release secrets in the past.
“We believe a sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new iPad Mini,” IDC analyst Tom Mainelli says.
In terms of actual numbers, Apple went from around 17 million tablet sales in Q3 to around 14 million this time around, so it really was a case of sales growing, but the market simply growing faster. For the record, total tablet shipments hit 27.8 million, up from the 25m of March-June.
Samsung's rise is explained by the emergence of the Galaxy Note 10.1 to join the existing Galaxy Tab tablets, which were refreshed in the months ahead of Q3 to play their own part in the sales boost.
Amazon and Asus also had new products affecting the numbers late on, the new Kindle Fire HD and the latter's Google Nexus 7, but their true affect on their respective makers is more likely to be felt in Q4.
And that's where things should get seriously interesting. The theory that iPad fans “sat out” Q3 will be put to the test, plus we'll see the full effect of Amazon and Asus' product moves, plus what the Nexus 10 does for Samsung's tablets.