Since tablets became popular the iPad has dominated the space. No other tablet has even come close to its massive sales numbers. Even now, with a collection of other tablets options taking a bite of sales, the iPad is still the top selling tablet by far. From GigaOm:
Apple is still the world’s largest tablet seller; it shipped 19.5 million in the last quarter, up from 11.8 million the same quarter a year ago, according to IDC and its own numbers released earlier this month. That’s an increase of 64 percent. Its No. 1 mobile competitor, Samsung, saw its shipments grow even faster, from 2.3 million tablets a year ago to 8.8 million in the latest quarter. Rounding out the Top 5, Asus and Amazon also more than doubled their tablet shipments from a year ago. Microsoft, which did not start selling tablets until October 2012, shipped 900,000 Surface units between January and March.
But if you look at the top five tablet manufactures closely, you’ll notice something important: three of the five top tablet providers run the Android OS. And that doesn’t account for the other popular Android-based tablets that didn’t make the top 5 – like Barnes & Noble’s Nook. According to the IDC report, “Other” tablets made up 31.5% of the market share in Q1. That large number, plus the sales of Samsung, Asus and Amazon means Android has taken over as the most common tablet operating system. From GigaOm:
The overall growth in tablets means Android is now the most popular mobile OS in tablets shipped during the quarter; a year ago it was on 8 million of tablets shipped worldwide, compared to the 11.8 million iPads. This past quarter saw Android shipped on 27.8 million tablets that were shipped and 19.5 million iPads and iPad minis.
So while one, individual tablet or manufacturer has a long way to go to catch up with the iPad, Android as a whole is overtaking iOS. With Apple keeping its operating system all to itself, this development was only a matter of time once other makers started putting out tempting tablets.
The take away: Even though we continuously hear about the iPad crushing the competition, don’t neglect Android tablet apps – they have a pretty far reach.