Apple's iPad is proving extremely difficult to catch.
According to data released today by research firm IHS iSuppli, Apple nabbed 69.6 percent of the tablet market in the second quarter on 17 million shipments worldwide. Samsung, its arch-nemesis, came in second place with 9.2 percent share on 2.3 million tablet shipments. Amazon and Asus took the third and fourth spots with 4.2 percent and 2.8 percent share, respectively.
"Apple is making all the right moves to rebuild its dominant position in the tablet space," Rhoda Alexander, director for tablet and monitor research for IHS, said today in a statement. "The company is pushing visual performance boundaries with the new iPad, while providing value customers with a lower-priced alternative, the iPad 2. With the expected entrance of the 7-inch version of the iPad in September, Apple is sending a clear message that it plans to dominate this market over the long term."
iSuppli's figures don't include the latest major tablet launch, Google's Nexus 7. After its recent launch, the Nexus 7 took off in a big way. The 16GB option, which costs just $249, quickly sold out on Google's Play Store. The device is now back in stock.
Despite its early success, Alexander doesn't necessarily believe that the Nexus 7 could hurt the iPad. He also indicated in a statement today that Microsoft's Surface tablet, which is slated to hit store shelves this fall, is another device that, while promising, won't be able to keep up.
"Apple's major media tablet rivals, Google and Microsoft, hope to challenge Apple in the second half of the year, but will be facing formidable headwinds with no sign that the market leader is backing off of its aggressive strategy in the market," Alexander says.
IHS iSuppli isn't alone in thinking that the iPad will continue to dominate the tablet market. Back in June, in fact, research firm IDC revealed that it believes Apple will own 62.5 percent of the tablet market by the end of this year, up from 58.2 percent last year.
"The addition of the Retina Display and 4G capabilities to the third-generation products clearly enticed many current owners to upgrade," Tom Mainelli, an IDC analyst, said in June. "And Apple's decision to keep two iPad 2s in the market at lower prices--moving the entry-level price down to $399--seems to be paying off as well."
Overall, the tablet market had a strong second quarter, with 24.4 million units shipping worldwide during the period. In the first quarter of 2012, 20.3 million tablets shipped worldwide.