This morning, online advertising network Chikita released a short report detailing the changes it saw in the tablet space after Christmas compared to the period directly before. The report shows a small decline in Apple’s tablet dominance, strong momentum for Amazon, and perhaps surprisingly, second highest in-class growth for Microsoft’s Surface line of devices.
What Chikita found is that Microsoft’s Surface tablets picked up 0.5% usage share in the United States and Canadian tablet markets during the post-Christmas period. Assuming that more consumer-friendly tablets are gifted in the holiday period than business-facing devices, we can assume that Microsoft moved more Surface 2 devices than Surface Pro 2 devices at Christmas.
This data therefore affirms the other market indications that the Surface 2 tablet hybrid is selling well.
Why are we looking so closely for data of this sort? The simple answer is that the Surface project remains so nascent, and yet so important for Microsoft’s future as an OEM and platform (that thing called Windows) that we need to track its pulse as closely as possible.
Microsoft will provide us with a single Surface figure when it reports its calendar fourth quarter earnings: revenue. But that blunt statistic will only get us so far. That Microsoft picked up 0.5% usage share in the period to land at 2.3% indicates that as a percentage of its total share, this holiday was big for it, even if its total share gain pales compared to Apple’s dominance.
Amazon picked up 0.6% usage share in the period, on what Chikita calls the Kindle Fire’s “remarkable run to the top of the Android tablet marketplace.” Amazon ended the period with 9.4% usage share.
Usage share of course is not directly commensurate with market share.
With the help of Amazon, Android continues to outpace Windows handily, but there was a minor change of the guards that is worth nothing:
Microsoft’s Surface lineup also continued its impressive year end run. Surface users generated more tablet traffic than all Google Nexus tablet users following the holiday, making Microsoft the fourth-largest source of continental tablet Web traffic should it maintain the lion’s share of this latest share growth.
Of course, Nexus devices are only one part of the Android tablet ecosystem.
Looking at the above broadly, innovation by partners is helping keep Android growing, while Windows claws market share from tablet leaders. That Apple is shedding minor share in the face of the twin challenge is not surprising.