APPLE, the company that changed the way we listen to music and touch mobile phones, is in danger of losing its cool.
After a series of iPhone 5 missteps and delays delivering products, the company’s popularity is diving and rivals are scooping up disgruntled Apple fans.
The company’s share of the tablet computer market has fallen to its lowest mark yet, with figures this week revealing consumers flocking to Google, while Apple also lost the title of smartphone king to Samsung.
Experts say the trend could be part of an Apple backlash and another sign that gadget fans are “spoilt for choice” this Christmas by competitive products which are hard to split.
Apple’s latest blow came in the tablet market after ABI Research found its share fell to its lowest ebb since the iPad’s launch in 2010.
Apple iPads made up 55 per cent of all tablets in the year’s third quarter, the company found, while Google Android-run tablet computers accounted for 44 per cent.
ABI Research senior practice director Jeff Orr said Apple’s launch of the iPad Mini “acknowledged” growing competition from Google tablets but the smaller device has yet to knock them out of the market.
“It has failed to deliver a knock-out punch through innovation, pricing and availability during the most critical selling period of the year,” Mr Orr said.
“We expect the Android ecosystem to continue to grow in numbers – new manufacturers, better device choices for reaching more markets, and more developers finding value from apps and content.”
Apple also lost the title of world’s biggest selling smartphone between July and September after Samsung’s Galaxy S III pipped the iPhone 4S to the top spot, being snapped up by an extra 1.8 million people worldwide.
Telsyte research director Foad Fadaghi said the smartphone market had become a two-horse race, with Samsung now offering stronger products and “genuine choice where two years ago it was a market that Apple had created”.
But Mr Fadaghi said Samsung had also been smart by targeting Apple in its marketing, trading on some users’ dissatisfaction with Apple Maps, iPhone features and its approach.
“The iPhone is not a phone for everyone,” Mr Fadaghi said. “Not everyone likes the Apple brand and Apple products and Samsung has managed to capitalise on that more than any other product maker.”
But Mr Fadaghi said Apple should not be counted out of the game, as the world’s richest technology company was still selling more products than ever and remaining highly profitable – its domination had merely eased.
Apple sold three million iPad Minis and iPad 4s in three days following its launch last month, and five million iPhone 5 handsets in its first weekend on sale.