Apple, Android Lead Worldwide Tablet Market: Strategy Analytics
Apple iOS and Google Android devices remain the clear leaders, although Windows-based tablets are posting modest gains in the worldwide tablet market.Global tablet shipments reached 40.6 million units in the first quarter of 2013, with Google's Android platform securing an impressive 43 percent global share, while Apple iOS devices, including the iPad and the iPad mini, maintained their strong market leadership, accounting for nearly half (48 percent) of tablets shipped, according to the latest report from IT research firm Strategy Analytics. Microsoft's Windows platform secured a 7.5 percent global share in the first quarter of the year, which, while lagging far behind Android and iOS, is a huge improvement from the same period a year ago, before the launch of Windows 8 and the Acer- and Lenovo-branded tablets carrying the company's new operating system. While sales of Microsoft's Surface tablets have been less than stellar—Microsoft has ordered 3 million of the devices, but just half of those have been sold, according to a recent report—the combination of Surface sales and other Windows 8 tablets has quadrupled Microsoft's share in the tablet market. Microsoft is betting on tablets to offset the decline in PC sales as consumers turn to smaller, more mobile devices to work and access media content. "Global branded tablet shipments reached an all-time high of 40.6 million units in Q1 2013, surging 117 percent from 18.7 million in Q1 2012," Peter King, director of tablets at Strategy Analytics and author of the report, said in a statement. "Demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users remains strong. Apple produced a solid performance this quarter as the Mini had its first full term and shipped a robust 19.5 million mixed iPads worldwide maintaining market leadership with 48 percent share during the first quarter of 2013."
The report noted that very limited distribution, a shortage of top-tier apps and confusion in the market are all holding back shipments of Windows-based tablets, while global Android tablet shipments increased 177 percent annually to 17.6 million units. The growth of global branded tablet shipments in Q1 2013 compared with shipments in Q1 2012 was the highest consecutive year Q1 shipment figure since the modern tablet industry began in the second quarter of 2010.