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Android Overtakes Apple In 2013 Tablet Sales With 68 Percent Growth

Mar 3 2014, 12:51pm CST | by

Android Overtakes Apple In 2013 Tablet Sales With 68 Percent Growth
 
 

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Android Overtakes Apple In 2013 Tablet Sales With 68 Percent Growth

Capturing 62% of the overall market, Google’s Android OS is now the top operating system for tablet devices. With sales of almost 121 million devices during 2013, compared to 53 million in 2012, Android has powered past Apple’s iOS as tablet sales reach a combined 195 million units.

Data from Gartner’s latest research is now available, looking at worldwide tablet sales for 2013. Android has 61.9% of the market, with iOS on 36.0%. The only other platform that scores more than a tenth of one percent is Microsoft, with a 2.1% share and 4 million sales of Windows 8 powered tablets. Gartner notes that Microsoft is finding more success where productivity is key, which tallies with other findings, but Redmond is still a long way behind the two leading platforms.

Android’s growth is coming from tablets priced at the lower end of the portfolios which “sport adequate specifications.” With the components in a basic Android tablet resulting in a ‘commodity’ tablet for many manufacturers, the value is in the volume and this will continue to be the case. Differentiation will come from software and brand loyalty. With Google’s recent nudge to Samsung to ease up on the former, expect more brand advertising and the occasional touch of subscription based services to help lock-in users to a single manufacturer for the future.

While the market share of the iPad is down (52.8% in 2012 to 36% in 2013), the unit sales of Apple’s tablets have risen from 61.5 million units to 70.4 million units. while many will cite the loss of market share and the number one position as bad news for Apple, I think those thoughts would be misplaced. Apple is selling at the high end, with a significant profit margin on the iPad and iPad Mini devices, and continues to dominate the profits made in the tablet market.

In any case they are still the leading vendor  on 36% market share. Samsung is in second place but their fleet of tablets only muster 19.1% of the market.

Gartner’s numbers show the fabric of the tablet market has not changed radically over the last twelve months. Apple finds the value in the high-end, and with some notable exceptions Android is the driving force at the low-end. I’d expect Android’s market share to carry on increasing, following a similar pattern to the smartphone market, and Apple to continue increasing sales while paying scant attention to any market share numbers dominated by low-end sales.

Google Nexus 7 tablet

Source: Forbes

 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
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