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iPad still dominates traffic among tablets, with 80 percent share

In North America, the iPad's share of Web traffic is down slightly from a year ago September but up from July, new figures show.

Apple's original iPad Air. James Martin/CNET

Apple's iPad is still by far the most popular tablet in North America, according to new stats released on Thursday by Chitika.

Analyzing the Web traffic generated by a range of tablets in North America during September, Chitika pegged the iPad with a share of 79.9 percent. That number was down just a bit from the 81 percent seen in September last year. But it inched up 1.9 percentage points from July.

Since the stats were taken in September, they don't include the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, both of which launched in October. But discounts on existing iPad models may have helped Apple carve out a bit more traffic on the Web, according to Chitika.

"A variety of larger retailers including Best Buy, Target, and Staples discounted iPad Mini and Air models leading up to the release of two new iPads early this fall, which may have contributed to the recent share rise," Chitika said in its report. "While Apple has stated that global iPad sales have trended down over the past few quarters, this doesn't seem to be quite as true domestically, as IDC notes that the U.S. is driving growth in the tablet market in general."

In second place with a 6.7 percent share was Amazon with its Kindle lineup. That number was unchanged from a year ago. Samsung took third place in the rankings with a 6 percent share, up from 5.1 percent the prior September. Among all the tablet makers, Samsung scored the highest gains as it launched six new tablets in North America during the first seven months of 2014, double the number that debuted throughout all of 2013, Chitika said.

In fifth place behind Google, Microsoft grabbed just 1.7 percent of the Web traffic, a slight gain from 1.6 percent a year ago. Microsoft's minor gain didn't include traffic from its "laptop-like Surface Pro models," Chitika said, but did benefit from a year's worth of Surface 2 purchases.

And what can tablet makers expect for the holiday season and beyond?

"With Amazon, Apple, Google, Sony, and other brands all overhauling one or more of their tablet offerings in advance of the 2014 holiday shopping season, the North American market remains tremendously competitive," Chitika said. It added that "early January may yield the most accurate picture of the post-holiday North American tablet ecosystem."

To compile its data, Chitika sampled tens of millions of online ad impressions collected on tablets in the US and Canada during the entire month of September.