Apple has 95 percent of tablet market: Strategy Analytics

People compare the performance of Apple's iPad (L) and Samsung's Galaxy Tab tablet devices at the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) consumer electronics fair at "Messe Berlin" exhibition centre in Berlin, September 2, 2010. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Apple controlled 95 percent of the emerging market for tablet computers with its iPads in the July-to-September quarter, research firm Strategy Analytics (SA) said on Tuesday.

The competition in the market is, however, tightening fast with handset vendors and PC makers moving into the new category of devices, between traditional PCs and smartphones, taking a cue from the success the iPad, a 10-inch touchscreen tablet that began selling in April.

The total market grew to 4.4 million tablets in the September quarter from 3.5 million in the previous quarter, the researcher said.

“The tablet wars are up and running. Apple has quickly leveraged its famous brand, an extensive retail presence and user-friendly design to develop the tablet segment into a multi-billion-dollar global business,” said SA analyst Neil Mawston.

Mawston said the other platforms -- Android, Microsoft, MeeGo of Nokia and Intel, Hewlett-Packard’s webOS and RIM’s Blackberry -- have already much ground to make up.

The Android operating system -- second largest on the market -- achieved just 2.3 percent share in the third quarter, but the researcher said the share would rise in the current quarter.

“We expect Android’s share to rise in the fourth quarter as more models, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, enter the market,” the researcher said.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter