Amazon Steals 14% Tablet Market Share In Q4, Apple Share Drops To 57%

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We’ve known since the Fire first debuted that it would create some competition for Apple’s iPad, which has dominated the market since it arrived. But today iSuppli has offered up a little insight into just how fierce the competition really is.

According to the research firm, Apple’s market share in the tablet arena dropped from 64 percent in Q3 to 57 percent in Q4, with Amazon nabbing a 14 percent share.

It would seem as though that $200 price tag on the Kindle Fire was temptation enough for tablet buyers, but according to IHS research Apple customers were more swayed away from the iPad by the iPhone 4S than they were the Fire.

Including Christmas sales, Apple shipped at least 15.4 million iPads while Amazon had shipped 3.9 million Fires. It’s important to note that shipments are a very different number than sales, but with both of these products selling well we wouldn’t consider these numbers misleading by any means.

iSuppli projects that the iPad 3, which will most certainly be the superior device, will help Apple recapture any market share it lost over the past few months, but with such a gap between price points, anything can happen.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet took the third and fourth spots, with 8 percent and 7 percent shares respectively.