Android OS Takes Lead in Tablets

According to Gartner, worldwide sales of tablets to end users reached 195.4 million units in 2013, a 68% increase on 2012. While sales of iOS tablets grew in the fourth quarter of 2013, the share declined to 36%. The tablet growth in 2013 was fueled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first time buyers. This led Android to become the No. 1 tablet operating system, with 62% of the market.

Worldwide Tablet Sales to End Users by Operating System (Units)

Operating System

2013 Sales

2013 Market Share (%)

2012 Sales

2012 Market Share (%)

Android

120,961,445

61.9%

53,341,250

45.8%

iOS

70,400,159

36.0

61,465,632

52.8

Microsoft

4,031,802

2.1

1,162,435

1.0

Others

41,598

<0.1

379,000

0.3

Total

195,435,004

100.0

116,348,317

100.0

Source: Gartner, February 2014

Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, says "… tablets became a mainstream phenomenon in 2013… vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers… (providing) meaningful technology and ecosystem value… to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins… " 

In 2013, the share of Apple's iOS dropped 16 percentage points as the market demand was driven by the improved quality of smaller low-cost tablets from branded vendors, and white-box products continued to grow in emerging markets, says the report. Gartner analysts said emerging markets recorded growth of 145% in 2013, while mature markets grew 31%.

In 2013, Microsoft's tablet volumes improved but share remained small. Despite Microsoft now acting more rapidly to evolve Windows 8.1, its ecosystem still failed to capture major consumers' interest on tablets, says the report.

Ms. Cozza says that "…  Microsoft needs to create compelling ecosystem proposition for consumers and developers across all mobile devices… tablets and smartphones become key devices for delivering applications and services to users… “

From a vendor perspective, Apple's strong fourth quarter helped it to maintain the top position in the market in 2013. Samsung, though, exhibited the highest growth of the worldwide tablet vendors, at 336%, in 2013. The expansion and improvement of its Galaxy tablet portfolio, together with strong marketing and promotions, helped Samsung shrink the gap with Apple.

Among the vendors that have a less than 6% share of the worldwide tablet market, Lenovo did particularly well in 2013 with tablet sales growing 198%.

Isabelle Durand, principal research analyst at Gartner, adds that "… Lenovo‘s success is a combination of launching innovative new tablet models during 2013… and the sales of its Yoga model and Windows tablets… Lenovo's strong R&D… and ability to react quickly to tablet market dynamics… helped it introduce innovative and a range of attractive products… “

Worldwide Tablet Sales to End Users by Vendor (Units)

Vendor

2013 Sales

2013 Market Share (%)

2012 Sales

2012 Market Share (%)

Apple

70,400,159

36.0

61,465,632

52.8

Samsung

37,411,921

19.1

8,583,146

7.4

ASUS

11,039,156

5.6

6,262,371

5.4

Amazon

9,401,846

4.8

7,707,800

6.6

Lenovo

6,525,762

3.3

2,186,993

1.9

Others

60,656,161

31.0

30,142,374

25.8

Total

195,435,004

100.0

116,348,317

100.0

Source: Gartner, February 2014

For additional information from Gartner, please visit here.

 

 

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