According to Strategy Analytics, Q3 figures show that global shipments of Android tablets have captured a 41% market share, setting a record of sorts. This marks a 29% rise as compared to last year with 10.2 million units being shipped. Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL)’s IOS tablet sales dropped to 64% from 57% in the same quarter a year back. Around 14 million iPads were dispatched all over.
However, when compared to last year’s performance, the global tablet shipments went up from 17.2 million units to 24.7 million units this year, which amounts to a 43% increase. The growth rate is dismal because the 2nd quarter saw a growth of 289%. Strategy Analytics attributed the weak rate to these factors – global economy went through a slump, Apple was not on the forefront because of its iPad launch, and competition from Android became fierce with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean clicking with users instantly.
Apple’s market position is facing a subtle threat due to the huge gap between Apple and individual hardware vendors manufacturing Android tablets, who are slowly closing in on Apple’s numero uno standing.
But the firm's executive director, Neil Mawston said that the data in question includes "sell-in" devices, tablets purchased by retailers from hardware vendors and excludes "sell-through”, which indicates the sales from vendors through retailers to customers. Unsold Android tablets might be lying in stores in huge numbers. However, it makes sense that Android’s popularity is on the rise because the volume of shipments to retailers is increasing. Mawston said that Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablets and laptop hybrids, unveiled worldwide, can help to enhance the growth in tablet sales in the last quarter of the year due to the holiday season knocking on the doors.