Going small and cheap
Apple is still the daddy in the tablet space and just the other day Cupertino rolled out an all new iPad mini and a revamped full sized iPad, ensuring a competitive edge for months to come.
However, according to Strategy Analytics, Android is also going strong. The market gobbled up an estimated 25 million tablets in Q3. Apple’s market share slipped to 57 percent, while Android managed to grab a record 41 percent of the market. In terms of sales figures, Apple sold 14 million iPads, up from 11.1 million units in Q3 2011, while Android sales hit 10.2 million, up from 5 million last year.
So what’s behind Android’s surprisingly good showing? Well it seems it all comes down to affordable 7-inch units, like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. There’s also the fact that Android tablets come in all shapes and sizes, from 10+ inch convertibles to dirt cheap 7-inchers, built by dozens of hardware partners. With the iPad mini Apple hopes to get a piece of the action and it probably will, in spite of questionable pricing.
As for Microsoft, the share of Windows powered tablets in Q3 2011 and Q 2012 was 0.4 percent. However, Windows RT is finally here and it could put a bit of pressure on Android and iOS, especially in the enterprise market. However, don’t expect Windows RT tablets to make much of a dent on iOS and Android sales.