Android catching up to iOS tablets

Michael Carroll
29 Oct 2012

Apple lost ground to Android devices in the tablet market during 3Q12, with its share of shipments slipping from 64.5% in 3Q11 to 56.7% in the recent quarter, figures from Strategy Analytics reveal.

Shipments of iPads hit 14 million during 3Q12. While that is up from 11.1 million in the same period of 2011, the overall tablet market slowed in the recent quarter as consumers held off buying devices ahead of the launch of several new models, including Apple’s iPad Mini.

Apple’s market share loss, however, was Google’s gain. Android tablets increased their share of the market from 29.2% to 41.3% year-on-year, as unit shipments doubled to 10.2 million.

Peter King, director at Strategy Analytics, says Apple’s 3Q12 shipments are “disappointing,” but noted the overall market was “sluggish” during the quarter, with total shipments growing 7.5 million to 24.7 million units year-on-year.

Colleague Neil Mawston, executive director, notes that, while Android vendors are still behind Apple “the collective weight of dozens of hardware partners…is helping Google’s Android platform to register a growing presence in tablets.

Separate figures from the firm show smartphone shipments fared better during 3Q12, with overall shipments up 34.8% year-on-year to 161.7 million units. Samsung led the way, doubling shipments to 56.9 million, while Apple took second place with shipments of 26.9 million devices – up from 17.1 million in 3Q11.

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