FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) investors have long taken comfort in the fact that even if its share of tablet shipments fell behind Android's in a particular quarter, the company still took home the lion's share of tablet revenues.
That's no longer true, says Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty.
Working from the tracking numbers IDC released two weeks ago -- which reported that Apple's share of tablet shipments in the September quarter had fallen below 30%, their lowest level yet -- Huberty calculated that the iPad's share of global tablet revenues hit an even more troubling milestone:
"For the first time," she wrote in a note to clients Friday, "Android devices accounted for a greater share of the market in revenue terms than iOS. Android revenue share reached 46.2% in 3Q13, for the first time exceeding iPad share of 45.6%. Android's unit share grew to 66.7% from 58.5% a year ago, largely driven by Samsung and Lenovo, while iPad share declined to 29.7% from 40.2%."
IDC attributed the iPad shipment falloff to Apple's decision in late 2012 to move all its product launches to the pre-Christmas quarter -- which meant customers holding out for a new iPad had to wait a full year.
But with the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini moving briskly, both IDC and Gartner expect Apple to enjoy what IDC called "robust shipment growth" in the December quarter.
UPDATE: To answer several readers' questions...
The story was in the caveats, but most of the tech press missed them.
FORTUNE -- The headline on IDC's press release Tuesday was guaranteed to catch the attention of anyone in the media looking for signs of Apple's (AAPL) impending doom.
Android Pushes Past 80% Market Share While Windows Phone Shipments Leap 156.0% Year Over Year in the Third Quarter
To IDC's credit, it couched most of its numbers in the proper context. It pointed MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 13, 2013 8:36 AM ET
Both Gartner and IDC show summer Mac sales down as tablets replace PCs in schools.
FORTUNE -- An Apple (AAPL) summer tradition -- strong back-to-school sales of the Mac -- finally got broken by the same disruption that has been draining growth out of the entire PC industry: The booming tablet market that Apple created when it launched the iPad in 2010.
Gartner and IDC released their third quarter PC shipment reports MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 10, 2013 7:33 AM ET
But the iPhone lost ground this summer in China, Germany, Mexico and Spain.
FORTUNE -- Apple's (AAPL) share of the U.S. smartphone market, grew to 43.4% from 35.6% between May and July according to a Kantar World Panel survey released Monday, a gain of 7.8 percentage points that came almost entirely out of the hide of Google's (GOOG) Android (down 7.6 points).
That may come as a surprise, given that Apple hasn't released MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 4, 2013 7:53 AM ET
New reports from IDC and comScore pull in opposite directions.
FORTUNE -- Pity the poor headline writer trying to make sense of Wednesday's smartphone market share reports.
On the one hand, you have IDC reporting that Apple (AAPL) "ceded" market share last quarter as Google's (GOOG) Android "surges," generating this from the Wall Street Journal:
Android Obliterates Smartphone Market
On the other you have comScore reported numbers showing that -- for the first time MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 8, 2013 6:20 AM ET
The reliability of its market research has been called into question twice in the past week.
FORTUNE -- It may be no accident that Samsung and Strategy Analytics both chose to locate their Korean headquarters in Seoul's prestigious Gangnam Building.
The Boston-based research and consulting firm does not advertise its roster of clients, except to say that they include "13 of the 15 top handset vendors."
But based on the number of reports MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 2, 2013 9:53 AM ET
Tracking the meteoric rise of Lenovo, LG, ZTE, Huawei, Alcatel et al.
FORTUNE -- "How Samsung is beating Apple in China," read the headline on the Reuters newswire Friday. The piece quoted Tim Cook high up describing China as a huge opportunity for Apple "over the arc of time."
"But time looks to be on the side of rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd," the story continued, cleverly using Cook's words against him MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 27, 2013 8:22 AM ET
In the context of the industry's longest slowdown, the numbers could have been worse.
FORTUNE -- According to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments fell 10.9% last quarter, the industry's fifth consecutive quarter of decline. According to IDC, shipments are down 11.4% year over year, capping the industry's longest slowdown ever.
The main thing that's hurting PC sales, both research firms agree, is that customers who used to buy PCs are buying tablet computers instead.
In MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 12, 2013 6:48 AM ET
Embattled computer manufacturers are making new machines they hope can keep pace with phones and tablets.
FORTUNE -- For PC makers, Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution holds true now more than ever: adapt to their rapidly-evolving environment or perish.
"The PC industry is like that scene out of Jurassic Park, where the little kid asks the professor, 'What happened to all the dinosaurs?' and he responds, 'We see them everyday: They're MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jun 4, 2013 6:45 AM ET
Apple's iPad sales grew 65%. Samsung's shipments, according to IDC, grew 280%.
FORTUNE -- How do you make the fact that sales of Apple's (AAPL) iPad grew 65% -- from 11.8 million to 19.5 million -- look bad?
You bury it under a headline that points out, as several reports did, that its market share dipped below 40% for the first time.
The data come from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, which took iPad MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 1, 2013 7:45 PM ET
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