Android Grabs the Top Spot In The Global Tablet Market

For the first time, Google’s Android platform accounted for the majority of quarterly tablet shipments.

According to IDC, 27.8 million Android tablets were shipped in the first quarter. However, IDC includes Amazon’s Kindle Fire in its tablet count. The Kindles run on a heavily customised Android “fork,” so it doesn’t make sense to include them.

Excluding Amazon’s estimated 1.8 million shipments, that gives Android a 52% market share. 

Apple is still the largest single manufacturer by a substantial margin. It sold 19.4 million iPads in the first quarter, good for a 39% share of the global market, down from 44% a quarter prior. Samsung was the second-largest manufacturer with 8.8 million units shipped.    

Windows, meanwhile, eked out a 4% share, up from 3% a quarter prior.

Note that IDC tracks shipments, while Apple reports sales. This may undercount Apple’s market share, since a portion of Android devices may remain unsold, but the numbers are broadly indicative of market trends.

It’s also important to keep a mind that after its head start in the tablet market, Apple still has a much larger installed base.   

Android has benefited from its rush into the burgeoning low-cost, mini-tablet market. Asus, manufacturer of Google’s $199 Nexus 7 tablet, was the third-largest manufacturer in the first quarter. Android is also undoubtedly getting a boost from a reportedly substantial Chinese grey market

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tablet market share

Here’s an alternate look at the above data:

Click here to view a larger version of this chart.

global tablet shipments

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is an investor in Business Insider.

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