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Apple?s tablet share drops to 61pc as overall shipments soar: Strategy Analytics

Global tablet shipments skyrocketed in the second quarter on the strength of the iPad and the introduction of new tablets on operating systems, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

The second quarter saw a 331 percent jump in tablet shipments thanks to the speed of these devices as well as their touchscreen interfaces and sleek design. Apple?s iOS had a 61 percent share, down from 94 percent a year ago, while Android captured a 30 percent share. 

?Given the sheer volume of Android, Microsoft and other models flooding into the tablet market, it is inevitable that the global marketshare of Apple iOS will shrink over the next year or two,? said Neil Mawston, England-based director of global wireless practice at Strategy Analytics.

?However, the global market?s rising tide of tablet shipments will continue to lift the Apple ship, and provided it continues to deliver good products Apple should continue to generate solid revenues and profits from the tablet category for the foreseeable future,? he said.

Tablet ecosystem
Strategy Analytics research shows that global tablet shipments totalled 15 million units in the second quarter, up 331 percent year-over-year.

Microsoft came in third, following iOS and Android, with a five percent market share.

Research in Motion?s QNX came in fourth with a three percent market share in part because of a lacklustre launch for the first-generation PlayBook tablet.

Apple reported this week that it sold 9.25 million iPads during its fiscal third quarters, a 183 percent jump from a year ago.

?There are at least three major reasons driving the demand for tablets,? Mr. Mawston said.

?Consumers generally find finger-driven touchscreens to be more intuitive than keyboards and trackpads for Internet browsing,? he said.

?Second, the boot-up speeds for tablet operating systems are faster than those found in notebooks. And third, the keyboard-free designs of many tablets mean they can be styled to look sleek, thin, light and attractive.?

Strategy Analytics expects the tablet market to continue to grow for at least another three years as notebook and desktop PC owners worldwide upgrade to touchscreen-driven computers.

Falling prices for tablets over the next several years will also help drive continued growth.

Android?s growth in tablets is being driven by multiple Android models from brands such as Samsung, Acer and Motorola.

The one to beat
According to Strategy Analytics there is currently no breakthrough Android tablet that rivals the iPad.

Additionally, demand for many Android vendors? products is patchy.

The Android tablet community could get a boost this year if Amazon launches a tablet, as has been reported. If the online retail giant is able to deliver a standout offering it could successfully compete with the iPad, according to Strategy Analytics.

While tablets are eating in sales for netbooks and portable music players, the overall computing market is still growing.

?Tablets are cannibalizing netbooks and portable music players, but we view tablets as additive rather than subtractive,? Mr. Mawston said.

?The total global computing pie continues to grow overall, although it is fragmenting,? he said.

?Fifteen years ago, computing was mostly done only on a desktop PC. Today, computing activities such as Internet browsing can be done through multiple devices, such as tablets, smartphones, notebooks, netbooks, ebook readers, in-car head-units, and so forth.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is assoc. editor on Mobile Marketer