The tablet market has long been synonymous with Apple’s iPad. But that association may soon loosen its grip on the collective imagination— Android is making gains.
For the first time in the short history of the market, the iPad did not account for more than 50 per cent of quarterly tablet shipments. According to IDC, iPads were 44 per cent of the 52.5 million tablets shipped in the fourth quarter.
The iPad still has a plurality of the market. Android, not including forked versions of the platform like Amazon’s Kindle Fire, accounted for 41 per cent of shipments.
In its first quarter on the market, Microsoft shipped a disappointing 900,000 units of its Surface tablet (2 per cent of shipments).
Of course, IDC looks at shipments, while we know from Apple that it actually sold 22.9 million iPads in the quarter. It is possible that Android sales won’t actually match up with shipment figures, and that there are a slew of Samsung Galaxy tabs sitting in boxes somewhere.
Nonetheless, it’s clear that lower-priced Android-powered tablets, along with mini-tablets, are shaking free Apple’s once-insurmountable hold on the market.
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