Apple saw off attempts by rivals to eat into its fondleslab market share and actually tightened its iron grip on the market across Western Europe in over the Christmas quarter.
The trendy tech titan, which owned 76 per cent of sales across the region in Q3, captured 88 per cent in the final three months of last year, despite expectations that the opposition will provide stiffer competition.
"Christmas time was in favour of Apple as sheer brand awareness and in-store recommendations drove sales of the already dominant iPad amongst consumers buying presents,” said Salman Chaudhry, a Context mobile analyst.
The dominance remains lined to "price and market penetration of its iOS ecosystem", he added, with the iCloud also allowing users to share content on all their Apple devices including the iPhone.
This is a precursor to the formation of a two-tier industry - those with luxury iPad-branded kit and "standard devices" at the other end of the spectrum, leaving a huge gap in the middle of the market for much of 2012, the analyst noted.
“We believe that traditional PC vendors are likely to see success towards the third and fourth quarter of this year, when Windows 8 is set to launch offering an integrated and reliable ecosystem,” said Chaudhry.
“These vendors are likely to shift focus to or at least divert some emphasis onto the enterprise space to launch hybrid tablets/laptops, with designs akin to the Eee Pad transformer becoming more common." ®