Android's tablet share jumps to 41 percent in one year

Android's tablet share jumps to 41 percent in one year

Summary: Figures from Strategy Analytics show that while no single Android manufacturer offers a serious threat to Apple's iPad, they are collectively catching up. The question now is how much of an impact Microsoft makes with Windows 8 and RT.


Android now accounts for 41 percent of tablet shipments around the world, according to Strategy Analytics.

Global tablet shipments reached 25 million units in the third quarter of 2012, the analyst firm said on Thursday. Of those devices, 57 percent were running iOS, down from 64 percent a year before. By contrast, 41 percent were using Android, compared with 29 percent the previous year. That adds up to a rise of 12 percentage points, or 41 percent more than in 2011.

"Global Android tablet shipments doubled annually to 10.2 million units," Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston said in a blog post. "No single Android vendor comes close to Apple in volume terms at the moment, but the collective weight of dozens of hardware partners, such as Asus, Samsung and Nook, is helping Google's Android platform to register a growing presence in tablets."

The trend of Android-based devices gaining market share began in the US, where the Android-based Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook have done very well indeed over the last year or so. However, those e-readers are only now being released internationally, so they have a relatively small impact on the global figures released this week.

According to Mawston, the third-quarter figures were also affected by people holding off on iPad purchases ahead of the iPad mini announcement this week.

"In the near term, Apple should still stay ahead," Mawston told ZDNet on Friday. "The iPad mini will give it a further [push] in Q4 and Q1. But it's clear that the Android community is ramping up its activities quite heavily."

"Especially in [tablets with] seven- to nine-inch displays, we expect the gap between Apple and Android to get smaller," he added.

However, Mawston also pointed out that Microsoft is getting into the same tablet game with Windows 8 and RT, and this would probably be a significant factor in future.

"In 2010 it was a one-horse race," he said. "In 2011 and 2012 it's become a two-horse race, and it will be a three-horse race in 2013."

Topics: Tablets, Android, Mobility

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • Its great to see there is competition...

    and therefore choice.
    Thanks for the article!
    • And...

      And more and faster innovation.
  • Hmmm. Could that be why iPad sales fell short of expectations?

    Nah, that can't be it.
    William Farrel
  • Some Android Table Manufacturers aren't doing themselves any long term ...

    favors. I purchased an Acer Iconia 500 10" tablet last summer. It was one of Acer's first tablets and came with HoneyComb. It was upgraded to Android 4.0.x (Ice Cream Sandwich this Spring) Acer probably isn't considered one of the big first tier tablet manufacturers (Apple, Samsung, Asus probably are). I just found out that my Iconia 500 isn't likely to get Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) which is unfortunate. I am somewhat happy with my device (it has some little glitches that periodically bother me, but for the most part it is decent). Having Jellybean on my phone, I know that it is smoother and more responsive than ICS. The fact that I am not getting Jellybean means I wll likely look for another manufacturer when it does come time to purchase a new tablet (I will likely hang on to this one for at least another year, maybe 2). I would even pay a small fee (say $20 )to get Jellybean from Acer so it would still be a revenue option for them (because they aren't getting me to buy a new tablet, that's for sure). It would seem to me that Acer has an option to differentiate itself from other manufacturers by going ahead and offering Jellybean (even if they charge a bit of $ to cover their costs) to Iconia A500 owners. I will likely just eventually put on a Jellybean ROM for the A500 when one becomes available, so that is probably an option for me, but it doesn't put any more money in Acer's pockets and the fact that I had to go elsewhere for Jellybean means I will likely not purchase another Acer when the time comes.
  • Wonder if this includes estimates on the gray market?

    Anyone examined their approach closely enough to know if they're including the Ainols and ICOOs of the world?
    • Re: if they're including the Ainols and ICOOs of the world?

      If they're running Android, why shouldn't they be included? What's "grey market" about it?
  • But 91% of tablet web traffic comes from iPads

    So I guess all those Android tablets aren't very useful.
    • they are very useful

      that's because androids are more useful than just a $500 web browser.

      Androids are bought by those being productive and/or reading. Ipads are for those who want a way to play angry birds without struggling with a 3.5" iphone screen or surf the apple website to see what the next great overpriced i-item is going to be.
      • Useful?

        iPad not useful? Dream on. Have you ever used Garageband on an iPad? And have you noticed that 90% or so of iPads are running the latest iOS release, while the Android universe is completely splintered with many devices UNABLE to upgrade? It's just like the difference between PCs and Macs. With my PC, I spend half the time fiddling with the OS, anti-virus, etc. With my Mac, I just flip up the cover and start to work....

        This is not to say Android is bad. I have used it and you can do a lot of things. But it can't compare to the Apple user experience.
        • Maybe

          if you stopped "fiddling" with your anti-virus and let it do it's job, you might be more productive. I must be an unusual PC user as I haven't "fiddled with the OS" for quite some time now. Win7 seems to work very well thank you very much.
          Little Old Man
        • iPad users have to use the web more because...

          they're forced to use Google Maps web version instead since it's not part of iOS 6 anymore.
        • ....

          Just to opposite. If you try to use apple os or ios you have to do so damn much to it just to do basic things. Apple products do not play well with the standards of the world. Android does prettyt much what windows can do and windows is the daily standard in everyday life. As an it webdesigner I do think apple has its place. Those over 60 love it since its so restricted and basic it makes it easy to read emails or surf the web but not much else. So apple is fine for the older folks and those who do not demand the most for their dollar. Android is by far an easier better configured os. Windows 8 not so much.
      • Way more useful than an ipad

        I totally agree apple users are totally brainwashed or marketing suckers.
    • According to that one ad-tracking system

      They measured accesses via their ad-tracking mechanism. Likely Android users end up hitting websites more in the Google sphere of advertising systems. Still probably more iPad ... but when you factor that in, it's likely that the reality is nowhere near 91%.
    • Most android tablets register as ipads

      Safari is the default browser on most Android tablets (especially from China) and the default 'user agent' is set to Ipad.

      As such many Android tablets are seen as Ipads to sites that track usage statistics.
      • Or Desktop mode

        In android you can download 3 party browsers and set your user agent to be "Desktop" and view web sites in their full versions & they will track as PCs instead.
        Bruce Banter
      • ???

        Where did you get that??? I have yet to see any android tablet with safari on it. I own 9 different models, do repair refurbs and it work for couple companies and unless you put safari on one it does not come with one. You have stock android browser which is followed by Firefox, opera, and chrome. You see alot of dolphin also but safari is beyond rare.
        • No

          Not the Safari browser, but rather the "user agent."

          The user agent is basically just a little announcement that your web browser makes to pages you visit, letting them know what web browser you are using. The idea here is that web sites will be able to dynamically customize content to the appropriate browser. Most web browsers allow you to change your user agent, to make it appear as if you are using a different browser. Announcing yourself as Safari, for instance, would be a good way to receive a web page that is customized for a tablet that does not support Adobe Flash.
    • Re: But 91% of tablet web traffic comes from iPads

      Just like 91% of smartphone web traffic comes from Iphones, even though we know Android outnumbers them 4:1.

      The only answer I can come up with is that Iphone and Ipad users are not making as much use of native apps as Android users do, preferring to access websites instead. Which is odd, considering the IOS buyers are paying a lot more for their apps. But how else to explain it?
    • wrong

      91% according to a advertising firm that almost exclusively is used on iOS
      Robin Jacobs