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Tuesday, February 05, 2013, 11:50 am PT (02:50 pm ET)

Kindle Fire & Android gain, but Apple's iPad holds commanding 81% tablet share

Amazon's Kindle Fire — and, to a lesser extent, Android tablets — saw continued usage share growth after the holidays, according to a new report, but Apple's iPads remained the overwhelming tablet leader, with more than 80 percent of active users in the market.

The new figures representing North American tablet data come from ad network Chitika's research arm, Chitika Insights. Chitika found that all of Apple's iPads accounted for 81 percent of tablet web traffic in the United States and Canada in January of 2013.

A distant second to the iPad was Amazon's Kindle Fire at 7.78 percent, running Amazon's own forked version of Google's Android operating system. That is up 3.53 percent from the 4.25 percent share Chitika measured for the month of December, and more than double the 3.57 percent share for November.

Chitika Tablet Market


The Kindle Fire was followed by Samsung's Android-based Galaxy tablets at 3.9 percent, up from 2.65 percent in December. Google's Nexus tablets rose from 1.06 percent in December to 1.7 percent of traffic in January, while Barnes & Noble's Nook held 1.1 percent of January traffic. No other manufacturer topped the one percent mark.

Despite the overwhelming lead in the tablet market, Chitika's newest figures do indicate an overall downward trend in Apple's tablet traffic share. A similar analysis in May of 2012 saw the iPad taking 95 percent of all tablet web traffic, and as recently as November the iPad had an 88 percent share. The trend in this most recent report could see the iPad dropping below 80 percent some time early in February.

iPad Market Share Trend


A Chitika report in January saw iPad web traffic share dipping as low as 78.86 percent in the post-holiday period, though this most recent report's figures seem to indicate that that may have been due to new non-iPad tablet owners using their devices at a higher rate during the holiday.

A methodology report accompanying the new traffic figures points out that the post-Christmas (Dec. 25 trough 27) traffic share jump for Amazon's Kindle Fire was larger than expected, as well as that the drop in share for the iPad was larger than expected. The report points to the Kindle Fire's strong performance as possibly the most notable aspect of the figures.

The numbers came from an analysis of web traffic from Jan. 19 through 25, 2013. Chitika compared that data against historical data starting Dec. 21. Chitika draws its figures from the billions of advertisements it serves globally per month.