Google's Android operating system (OS) continues to gain market share from Apple, according to two analyst firms. One estimates the total tablet market at 150 million global shipments this year, up 38% compared with 2012. The estimated worth: $64 billion, up 28% year-on-year.
While Apple remains in the lead for now, ABI Research estimates that phone makers like Samsung and others running Android have begun to gain market share, pushing down iOS devices. Analysts believes the success Samsung has seen during the past year with smartphones, Android OS, and the Galaxy Note II could migrate to tablets in 2013.
About 60% of tablet shipments last year relied on Apple's iOS operating system, and some 37% on Google's Android. The remaining 3% share went to Windows, BlackBerry Tablet OS, and unidentified operating systems.
IDC estimates nearly 49% of tablet shipped this year will run the Android OS, moving Google into the No. 1 slot for market share compared with Apple's iOS, which the research firm estimates will run 46% of tablets shipped. Windows and Windows RT tablets combined will make up less than 5% of tablets shipped.
Longer-term, iOS and Android will relinquish some market share to Windows-based tablets, with Windows 8 predicted to grow from 1% of the market in 2012 to 7.4% in 2017. IDC expects Windows RT growth to remain below 3% during the forecast period.
Pew Internet & American Life Project estimates that one in four consumers own a tablet. As of November 2012, 25% of Americans ages 16 and older own tablet computers such as iPads or Kindle Fires, up from 10% who owned tablets in late 2011.