Despite record fourth quarter sales Apple has seen its share of the tablet market drop a further 7 per cent with the Amazon Kindle Fire gaining traction.
Despite shifting a hearty 15.4 million iPad tablets in the final quarter of 2011, the Cupertino based company has seen its share of the tablet scene continue to shrink as increased competition drops the iPad's dominant share from 64 down to 57 per cent.
The latest figures, compiled by research firm iSuppli, have suggested Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet has fast become Apple's biggest rival in the tablet race with a reported 3.9 million unit sales in the six weeks leading up to Christmas, giving it a 14 per cent share of the tablet market.
Apple iPad 2 vs. Amazon Kindle Fire
Whilst both giants of the tablet market, the iPad 2 and Amazon Kindle Fire are arguably targeting different audiences with the 7-inch, heavily skinned Android device severely undercutting the iPad on price.
Hitting out at its Amazon branded rival earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said "“Price is rarely the most important thing" before suggesting budget tablets were joyless.
"A cheap product might sell some units. Somebody gets it home and they feel great when they pay the money, but then they get it home and use it, and the joy is gone.
"The joy is gone every day that they use it until they aren’t using it anymore. You don’t keep remembering ‘I got a good deal' because you hate it."
Apple iPad 3 Rumours
Cook's comments came just weeks ahead of the expected unveiled of the next-generation Apple tablet with an official Apple iPad 3 release date expected to be confirmed on March 7th.
Cooks comments came just weeks ahead of the expected arrival of the third-generation Apple tablet with the iPad 3 release expected to be confirmed on March 7th.
Tipped for inclusion on the second-generation Apple tablet, the iPad 3 is expected to play host to a higher resolution screen, similar to the Retina display offering found on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.
Elsewhere recent iPad 3 rumours have suggested the iPad 2 replacement will feature a form factor 1mm thicker than its predecessor with the increased internal space to be filled with the new display, an A6 quad-core CPU and improved optics for the rear-mounted camera.
Is the iPad still the best tablet on the market or are there now better, Android based offerings to choose from? Let us know what you think via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.