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iPad dominates tablet market but Amazon Kindle Fire, Google Nexus devices make gains

Apple's iPad is still the undisputed champion of consumer tablets, but in the final weeks of 2012, Amazon's Kindle Fire, Samsung's Galaxy Tab, and Google's Nexus devices made small but meaningful progress in upping their share of the market, according to Chitika.

The online advertising firm examined North American tablet impressions on the Chitika Ad Network for studies conducted by Chitika Insights. The latest such report collected a sample of "tens of millions of tablet impressions" gathered from 8 December to 14 December.

Apple's tablets still generate 87 per cent of North American web traffic, but the Kindle Fire family of tablets was the biggest gainer relative to the various iPads out in the wild during the period studied, according to Chitika. Amazon's tablets registered 4.99 impressions per 100 iPad impressions on the company's ad network in the December study, equating to a 4.25 per cent share of "all tablet web traffic as a whole," according to Chitika.

That doesn't sound like much, but impressions generated by Kindle Fire slates increased 20 per cent from the 3.57 percent share observed just a month earlier in Chitika's November study.

Samsung's Galaxy tablets and Google-backed slates like the Nexus 7 also "experienced a usage share increase, albeit less impressive than the Kindle Fire," the study noted.

From the period studied, impressions from Samsung's devices grew from 2.36 per cent to a 2.65 per cent of North American tablet traffic, while the Nexus family of tablets went from just an 0.91 per cent share in November to 1.06 per cent in December, Chitika said.

Again, piddling numbers relative to the iPad, but in Google's case, the month-to-month increase in Chitika Ad network impressions does represent 15 per cent growth.

However, web traffic from other tablets charted by Chitika remained infinitesimal on a device-by-device basis in December. Here's the full list of tablets, ranked by average tablet impressions per 100 iPad impressions observed on the company's network:

  • Amazon Kindle Fire: 4.88
  • Samsung Galaxy Tablets: 3.04
  • Google Nexus Tablets: 1.22
  • Asus Transformer: 0.93
  • Barnes & Noble Nook: 0.91
  • BlackBerry PlayBook: 0.80
  • Acer Iconia: 0.76
  • Toshiba Thrive: 0.60
  • Motorola Xoom: 0.59
  • Other Android Tablets: 0.45
  • Microsoft Surface: 0.22
  • HP TouchPad: 0.18
  • Unidentifiable Android Tablets: 0.17

If you're curious as to why Apple's tablets dominate the market so triumphantly, a look at our fourth-generation iPad review or iPad mini review may be instructive - both devices notch high scores and earn the ITProPortal 'Best Buy' seal of approval.

Alternatively, if you've waited until after Christmas to buy your next device in the hope of finding a bargain, why not check out our guide to buying the best tablet before heading out to the sales?