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Android blasts past Apple iOS in tablet market

Of the 51.7 million tablets that shipped worldwide in the second quarter of 2013, a whopping 67% were running the Android operating system, according to a new report by Strategy Analytics. Apple came in with 28%. Just a year ago the two operating systems were neck and neck in the tablet market: Android was at 51% and Apple at 47.2%.

“Android is now making steady progress due to hardware partners like Samsung, Amazon, Google and White-Box tablets,” said Peter King, Strategy Analytics’ director of tablets. White box tablets are those that are made by one manufacturer and then re-branded by another company.

strategy analytics chart

In a distant third place, Microsoft gained some ground, moving from .5% market share in to 4.5% in the space of a year. King attributed the growth to more competitive pricing but said the lack of apps on the Windows RT operating system continues to be a problem.

King blamed some of Apple’s decline on the absence of new models entering the market this quarter. Apple did release the iPad Mini in the previous quarter, but it did not take sales higher than 14.6 million as expected.

On the other side, there was at least one significant Android-tablet release this quarter, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 3.

The fact that the Android OS is free to any manufacturer to use on their device might have something to do with its growing popularity. But “free” also has a downside. Hugo Barra, Google’s VP of Android product management, told The Verge recently that “the Android ecosystem hasn’t yet put its best foot forward.” Barra believes that hardware running the Android needs to be improved as well as the apps currently available on the system.

Google itself is trying to remedy the hardware problem with its recent release of Nexus 7, which naturally runs Google’s Android OS. The new Nexus may impact Android numbers for the third quarter, and it certainly puts pressure on Apple.

The competition seems to be heating up the entire tablet market. IDC even revised its tabloid sales estimate upward for 2013, predicting that the worldwide market for this year will reach 190.9 million units.


Sara Zaske
Sara Zaske
Contributor, [email protected] Sara Zaske covers European carrier news for RCR Wireless News from Berlin, Germany. She has more than ten years experience in communications. Prior to moving to Germany, she worked as the communications director for the Oregon State University Foundation. She is also a former reporter with the San Francisco Examiner and Independent, where she covered development, transportation and other issues in the City of San Francisco and San Mateo County. Follow her on Twitter @szaske

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