Tech

iPad 5, iPad mini 2 Have 82% Lead Over Galaxy Note 8, Kindle Fire: Is This True?

By Jordan Mammo , Apr 22, 2013 11:53 AM EDT

Over the last few months, numerous analysts have come out to say that Apple's tablet dominance will erode by the end of 2013. Despite the release of the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2, stiff competition from slates like the Galaxy Note 8 and Kindle Fire HD, not to mention all the other, cheaper Android tablets, would allow Google's operating system to finally take over the market.

As new numbers keep pouring in, though, it might turn out to be a little tougher to dethrone Apple's iPad line than previously thought.

According to the research firm Chitika, iPad usage rates over the month of March actually rose for the first time since December, meaning that Apple's tablet team accounted for 81.9 percent of all tablet Web usage across the United States and Canada. That's an increase of 1.4 percent over February. The Kindle Fire, meanwhile, dropped from 8 to 7.1 percent Web traffic. Samsung's Galaxy line-up accounted for a measly 4.3 percent.

Chitika noted that the rise for Apple could be due to the fact that the company is seemingly emptying its stock of tablets in preparation for the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 launches, but Stabley Times is framing the data as essentially an 82 percent head start for the new slates.

"Apple's new iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 are debuting with an increasingly comfortable market lead in online usage over their primary competitor the Amazon Kindle Fire," reads the Stabley Times.

Is this true? While online usage is an important statistic, it's worthwhile to remember that it doesn't necessarily correlate with tablet sales. Just as the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 are expected to keep Apple's tablet sales healthy, the Galaxy Note 8 is expected to boost Samsung's fortunes, too. And it was only just released, so it'll be interesting to see these same numbers next month. Sony's new Xperia Tablet Z will also launch in May as the company makes a play in the mobile field, and any new Kindle Fire refreshments will surely reignite interest in Amazon's products.

At the same time, a more engaged user base means it's more likely said user base will purchase new apps and whatnot for their tablets. In that case, it means developers might want to prioritize app development and support for the base most likely to purchase their services. If Android usage doesn't pick up with sales, we could see a continuation of current trends, in which iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 get most of the tablet optimized apps, while Android users are either stuck waiting or out of luck. If Apple has the healthier, more vibrant ecosystem, that will surely play into any customer's decision.

No one's quite sure when the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 will come out, but the new Galaxy Note 8, backed by what will surely be a massive marketing campaign, is at least expected to shake things up a bit. And it needs to, because right now Apple looks like it has no intention of slowing down.

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