Samsung was the big winner as the western European tablet market showed no signs of slowing down in 2011's fourth quarter.
The vendor currently enjoys a clear second spot in the market-share rankings and also saw an impressive boost in average selling prices (ASPs) during last year's closing months.
Figures from market watcher Context find that tablet sales through western European distributors rose 160 per cent year on year in November, and 209 per cent the following month.
In December, Apple held a 68 per cent slice of the distribution market, still a long way ahead of second-placed Samsung, with seven per cent. Asus held a little over five per cent. During Q4, Apple punted 661,000 iPads through the region's distributors.
During the quarter both Acer and Asus swallowed price declines of about €20 (£16.70) per unit, with ASPs standing at €346 and €368 respectively.
Salman Chaudhry, mobile analyst at Context, told ChannelWeb that, with the next generation of Galaxy Tab models, Samsung has tried to create a "premium" product that is held in the same reverence as the market leader.
"[Asus and Acer] are now competing on price, rather than spec, whereas Samsung is doing the same thing as Apple," he said. "They have attached a premium to their product."
The Korean giant saw ASPs through western European distributors grow from €365 to €402 over the course of Q4. Chaudhry indicated that Apple invariably maintains steady ASPs.
During the whole of 2011, the regional tablet market grew by 250 per cent, and the analyst is expecting more strong growth next year. But Chaudhry believes the launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire could pressurise the margins of all but the top two vendors in 2012.
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