? ? China's best-selling tablet computer iPad saw its shipments drastically halved as Apple Inc's Android competitors, mainly Samsung, grabbed the lucrative market. Shipments of the tablet in China between April and June were down from about 3.04 million in the first quarter of the year to 1.48m units in the second quarter, with its market share in the country shrinking from 49 per cent to 28pc during the same period, according to statistics from International Data Corp, a global market intelligence firm. Apple's product is still No 1 in terms of market share in China's tablet computer sector but rapidly increasing sales numbers from rivals have led to a more challenging market for it, China Daily reported yesterday. "The market share of Android-based tablets, such as Samsung, is growing rapidly because there is a much bigger user base that is already familiar with the system because of the smartphones they use," the report quoted Dickie Chang, a Hong Kong-based analyst with researcher IDC as saying. Chang said Samsung Group took second place in China's tablet computer market in the second quarter with its share surging to 11pc from 6pc a quarter earlier. China's Lenovo Group Ltd was third with shipments of its tablet computers more than doubling from the quarter earlier, taking 8pc of market share in the same period. However, Chang said with the launch of the new iPad 5 this autumn, predicted by insiders, sales of Apple's tablet are expected to rise. "I think Apple intentionally reduced the shipment of iPads in the second quarter.
They need to protect the interest of those who just bought the iPad 4. Because with the arrival of the new iPad, the price of the older generation will fall dramatically," he said, adding no one wants to spend a lot of money on an iPad but find its price shrinking overnight because a new one has arrived. The falling sales of the iPad in the second quarter also led to the slow growth of the whole tablet computer market in China. According to a report released recently by the Beijingbased research firm Analysys International, the total shipment of tablet computers in China in the second quarter increased 5.6pc from the previous quarter. It was the slowest growth rate since the second quarter of last year. Wang Jun, an analyst with Analysys International, echoed Chang, saying the release of the new iPad will be good because of the large number of loyal Apple fans in China. "However, releasing a new product doesn't stimulate its sales for more than three months. In the long run, I still bet on the future of Androidbased tablet computers," Wang said. Because of the large number of Android users in the world, more money and resources are used to develop apps on the Android system. "It is more practical for people to buy Android-based tablet computer," he added. ? ?