Findings from an October 2011 report ( by the Context research firm showed that improved availability of the iPad 2 helped Apple maintain its spot as the largest tablet supplier in Europe. Sales volumes of tablets were up 20% sequentially in September 2011.

Sales of Acer and Asus tablets remained constant, but their share fell slightly as the market grew. This implies that while there’s demand for non-Apple tablets, the opportunity appears limited at current prices, according to Context and CCS Insight.

Seven-inch tablets accounted for only 2% of total sales volumes in August. This size tablet is expected to increase its market share with the launch of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire. CCS Insight and Context expect network operators to offer tablet and smartphone bundles around Christmas, as new brands start to compete for a share of festive sales.

Competition in the non-Apple tablet market is expected to increase strongly in the fourth quarter, according to the report. Manufacturers are expected to cut prices heavily in a bid to boost sales and, in some cases, to clear stock from distribution channels.