Are the iPad’s Days of Glory Numbered?

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Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad has enjoyed an untested domination in the global tablet arena since it first launched in 2010, but according to one expert, the days of glory may be numbered. Finvista Advisors analyst Sameer Singh is of the belief that the iPad will be surpassed in market share by a combination of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android tablets within the first half of next year.

According to the analyst, manufacturers following Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) low-pricing structure will soon start chipping at the hold the Apple tablet has on the market. “OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] have learnt from Amazon’s model that diversified price points would help expand the market and take share from the iPad,” Singh said, according to CNET. “This has resulted in far more broad-based growth, which is not only sustainable, but should result in an accelerated ramp up of sales over the next three to four quarters.”

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While IDC figures showed that the iPad cornered a whopping 87 percent of the tablet market in the third quarter of 2010, this year in the same three-month period, the share dropped to 50.4 percent.

Singh said his calculations found that growth in Android tablet shipments outdid the iPad in six out of the last eight quarters. The third quarter, of course, was especially bad because of the widespread anticipation for an iPad mini, which Apple launched in October. While shipments of the Apple tablet should have grown, according to historical trends, by 10 to 15 percent last quarter, they actually fell by 18 percent. There is no expectation of a dramatic letup in Apple’s profitability, as even with the slowed sales, the company managed to bring in sales of $36 billion and a net profit of $8.2 billion in the third quarter.

Singh added that he expected Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows tablets to have a “negligible impact” on the market.

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