The Fourth Quarter 2014 Tablet Update from research firm Chikita Insights shows a sustained and apparently unassailable lead for Apple in the North American tablet market. “iPad users generated 79.9% of North American tablet-based Web traffic over the month of September 2014 – a share down from the 81% figure observed one year ago, but a gain of 1.9 percentage points since July 2014,” says Chikita. “Meanwhile, Amazon and Samsung tablets are, respectively, still the second- and third-largest sources of tablet Web usage in the U.S. and Canada.”
The figures are based, acccording to Chikita, on samples of “tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian tablet-based online ad impressions running through the Chitika Ad Network” throughout September, and consequently have to be taken as fairly solid if this sample size description is accurate. The numbers show Amazon, in the second place for overall tablet web usage, with only 6.7 percent of the market against the iPad’s almost 80 percent. In sobering numbers for other brands, meanwhile, Microsoft Windows tablets secured only 1.6 percent market share, with Barnes & Noble’s Nook declining from 1.1 percent a year ago to 0.9 percent, and Google’s Nexus tablets, meanwhile, creeping up from 1.6 percent in 2013 to 1.7 percent in 2014.
And if anything, the iPad’s share of the market is reinforcing. According to Chikita, ” iPad users generated the largest quarter-over-quarter usage share increase of any tablet brand at 1.9 percentage points. A variety of larger retailers including Best Buy, Target, and Staples discounted iPad Mini and Air models leading up to the release of two new iPads early this fall, which may have contributed to the recent share rise.” Amazon Kindle Fire usage, meanwhile, remains remarkable consistent year-on-year. “Users of the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet family generated the same share of North American tablet traffic in September 2013 and 2014 at 6.7%. However, Amazon is in the process of refreshing nearly its entire tablet lineup prior to the holiday season, which should help drive, at the very least, some short-term increases for Fire tablet usage share.”
There may be some slight distortion in the data since it’s not clear whether Chikita tracks online usage from no-brand OEM Android tablets. All the same, Apple appears destined to stay on top of the North American tablet market for the time being.