From zero to three-million hero? Windows storms the tablet charts to take 7 percent of slates

From zero to three-million hero? Windows storms the tablet charts to take 7 percent of slates

Summary: Windows shipments are on the up, but white-box vendors are could be the tablet market's ones to watch.


Windows devices made up 7.4 percent of the 40.6 million tablets shipped in the first quarter of 2013, new research has found.

According to figures from analyst Strategy Analytics, Windows captured 7.4 percent of the market with three million tablets sold — a notable increase on the same quarter last year, when shipments were so low the OS didn't even figure in Strategy Analytics' rankings.

Total tablet shipments for the quarter were up 117 percent year on year, when 18.7 million units shipped.

Apple dominated the tablet market over the first quarter, with 48 percent share and 19 million tablets sold, up from the 11 million it shifted a year ago.

Despite the increase in shipments, Apple's market share is down — for the same quarter last year it held 68 percent market share — thanks to consumers' growing appetite for Android slates.

Android now has 43.4 percent of the market — up from 34 percent a year ago —and 17.6 million shipments.

The biggest of the Android makers is likely Samsung, which in the fourth quarter of 2012 shipped 7.9 million tablets, according to IDC.

While Windows may be increasing its tablet presence, the real movers and shakers are the no-name, low-cost white-box tablets emerging from China. Some analysts expect as many 60 million white-box tablets to sell this year.

If white-box tablets using Android were included in the figures, Android would steal the tablet OS crown from Apple, according to Strategy's director of tablets, Peter King.

"When we add white-box tablets into the mix, Android market share of the total tablet market increases significantly to 52 percent and iOS slips to 41 percent, as the bulk of the white-box tablets are Android low budget models aimed at a different market to the branded tablets."

Topics: Tablets, Android, Windows 8

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • What's a windows tablet

    Liam, did you ask them what they consider to be a Windows tablet? I didn't find it in the report.

    Could be Windows RT only, could be tablets and detachables (Transformers series), could be tablets, detachables and hybrids, ...
    • no convertibles, it seems.

      Just saw this one: "The definition of tablet does not include e-book readers or convertible PCs."

      That leaves the question if a detachable is a convertible or not, when it's sold as a single item (which the Surface is not).
      • That's not true

        The $499 Surface RT does not come with type or touch cover. Neither does the $899 Surface Pro.
        Michael Kelly
        • that's what I was saying.

          That's what I was saying. The Surface with keyboard is sold as 2 seperate items, unlike most competing products which you can buy including a keyboard in a single box.

          So my question is: If the tablet comes in a single box including a keyboard (which the surface does not), is is counted as a convertible or is it included in these numbers.
          • If all models of Surface do not count as a tablet...

            ...then somebody is playing screwy games with the math, and with reality.

            I dont care if you box any version or make of a Windows 8 tablet with anything, even if you box it with a hammer and a nail and some string, it should count as a tablet, its not a picture to be hung on the wall just because of the hammer, nail and string.
          • What PC will be called 'HYBRID' in the next ten years?

            I think this generation would be the only one talking about "hybrids" PC...

            Just saying...
    • It includes both....

      RT and x86 models running atom processors. They function just the same but have a different architecture underneath. Things like the HP Envy x2 are not just hybrids, but are full functioning tablets when undocked from the keyboard.
      • Yes...

        True. And that's why I am interested to know if they are included in the numbers or not.

        Just because they some people (including me) think they should be included does not mean they are.
  • Only going to grow

    As Enterprises finally get their Windows 7 migrations completed and begin to vet and adopt Win 8, the sales of the Pros will really take off. At home, the minute my trust netbook goes, I'm getting a Surface Pro.
    beau parisi
    • That is correct

      we are wrapping up a Win7 upgrade and shifting to Win 8 tablets for mobile use.
    • And

      the coming wave of decent tablets in the $300-$400 range. Especially when apps are not an issue with x86 tablets.
    • I agree - The Enterprise space is going to make Windows Tablet % take off

      Numerous customers that I am at are buying Windows Tablets for their mobile employees. Most recently I was at a company that worked with Lenovo to get >1,000 Win RT tablets for their sales team.
  • the "white box" part is the best part in the story

    It makes me believe that some market surveys don't take all devices into consideration but only the ones they "like" ?
    How would that translate to an automobile survey : There are less and less cars on Americas highways because we only count cars beyond $50k price point ?
    • I think it is hard to track those numbers

      The white box tablets come from an insane amount of "manufaturers" and are sold through so many underground and shady places it may not be able to be acurately figured.

      However I do agree that they should be counted in some fashion.
    • Do you believe that China and Africa will adopt Win 8 or iPad?

      No. Only tiny minority of jet-set folk there. Huge majority of developing countries will adopt cheap devices like these "White-Box tablets". Try to understand that Windows and Apple ecosystems are absolutely too expensive to take over global markets.

      North America and Europa are not the whole world - hardly more than 15% of world population. The mainstream is there in Kampala, Lagos, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbay, Bogota etc... these folks will solve this puzzle.
      • You are completely wrong.

        87% of emerging countries will adopt ipads and windows 8 tablets. They are plenty cheap. Only 13% will use android / Linux because that is what they get for free through humanitarian groups.

        Disclaimer: I just made all of that stuff up. It seemed like the sensible thing to do since you made up everything in your post. Feel free to continue this baseless line of debate.
        • China?

          Seriously, China? Who just adopted their flavour of Ubuntu as national OS? They're going to go for Windows-based tablets.

          Right. Sure. That'll happen.
      • Mac has a point...

        Although we'd all love to see Win8 and iOS take the WORLD market by storm... It just won't happen. Not if you count developing countries and countries like China who may not be able to afford Win8 or iPad. And many businesses are moving fully away from Microsoft and to Google.
        Plus, do you think the Chinese government wants its people using a proprietary, American based- OS? Hell no. They just recently announced Ubuntu as the national reference OS... Point is, the Africans and developing nations may not be able to afford these and the Chinese Gov't will not want their people using Windows. However, Win8 willl likely take the western world by storm unless Google can make a nice Android tablet play with Android 5.
    • Whit Box NotFully Functional

      My 18yo boy has purchased 2 of the so called "WhiteBox" Androids, Neither could access Google Play but didn't matter, neither lasted more than 2 to 3 weeks, the first, the socket that the micro USB shoved into the unit by simply plugging it in, got a different name replacement and it froze at the lock screen, Best Buy couldn't figure it out so money back was in order.
      • Yep...

        After all of human history, it's still true. You get what you pay for.