The first quarter of 2013 has been and gone which means it is time for the analysts to pick apart the sales figures. According to new research from Strategy Analytics, global Android tablet shipments have increased 177 percent annually to 17.6 million units. The total number of tablets shipped in Q1 of 2013 was 40.6 million. Since 17.6 million of those 40 million tablets where powered by Android then it means that Android has a 43 percent global share.
The other two big operating systems (and their respective eco-systems) in the global tablet market are Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows 8 RT. Apple still leads the race with a 48 percent market share, while Microsoft has managed to go from nothing (since Windows 8 RT is its first real tablet OS) to a 7.5 percent market share by selling some 3 million Windows based tablets.
“Demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users remains strong… Android captured a record 43 percent share of global branded tablet shipments in Q1 2013, rising from 34 percent a year earlier,” said Peter King, Director of Tablets at Strategy Analytics.
The data is for “Branded” tablets but if “White-Box” (read Chinese) tablets are added to the total numbers then Android’s market share jumps to 52% and iOS slips to 41%, as the bulk of the White-Box tablets use Android.
Although Microsoft now has a 7.5 percent share of the market, the report says that Microsoft has had distribution problems coupled with a shortage of top tier apps. There is also confusion among consumers about the differences between Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT meaning that Microsoft’s overall shipments were low.
This was the first full quarter of iPad mini sales and in total Apple managed to ship 19.5 million iPads (as a mixture of iPad 2, iPad and iPad mini). During the same quarter last year Apple shipped 11.8 million units.