Market analytics firm Strategy Analytics says Android may not exactly be small fry in the tablet market, compared with Apple’s iPad. As of third quarter of 2012, the platform accounted for 41.3% of the market, which can be attributed to a “collective weight” that different manufacturers contribute toward the platform.

According to the Strategy Analytics Tablet & Touchscreen Service, the worldwide tablet market grew by 43% annually as of Q3 2012, which is actually a slowdown in growth from the previous years. To illustrate, the global tablet market grew 289% year-on-year from Q2 2010 to Q2 2011, which may be considered a booming period, right after tablets became popular in the consumer market.

What may be interesting to industry observers, particularly those with interest in the Android platform, is the growth that Android has enjoyed so far. As of Q3 2012, Android enjoys a 41.3% market share in the tablet market. The iPad’s market share actually shrunk from 68.3% in Q2 2012 to 56.7% in Q3.

These figures are based on estimates, though, given some manufacturers’ reluctance to release actual sales figures. Also, we can still expect changes in each platform’s performance within the year, given various developments. These include Apple’s launch of its newly updated iPad and iPad Mini, as well as Microsoft’s upcoming release of Surface and the Windows 8 platform.

But 41.3% is already an impressive figure, given the iPad’s supposed dominance in the tablet space. Is Android on its way to attaining majority share in tablets, like it has done in the smartphone market?


Strategy Analytics: Android Captures Record 41 Percent Share of Global Tablet Shipments in Q3 2012

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments reached 25 million units in the third quarter of 2012. Apple iOS slipped to 57 percent global market share, allowing Android to capture a record 41 percent share.

Peter King, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global tablet shipments reached 24.7 million units in Q3 2012, rising a sluggish 43 percent from 17.2 million in Q3 2011. Demand for tablets slowed due to ongoing economic uncertainty and consumers holding off purchases in anticipation of multiple new models, like the iPad Mini, during the upcoming Q4 holiday season. Apple shipped a disappointing 14.0 million iPads worldwide and captured 57 percent share in the third quarter of 2012, dipping from 64 percent a year ago. Apple’s slowdown allowed the Android community to make gains and Android’s global share of the tablet market now stands at a record 41 percent.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Android captured a record 41 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q3 2012, jumping from 29 percent a year earlier. Global Android tablet shipments doubled annually to 10.2 million units. No single Android vendor comes close to Apple in volume terms at the moment, but the collective weight of dozens of hardware partners, such as Asus, Samsung and Nook, is helping Google’s Android platform to register a growing presence in tablets.”

Other findings from the research include:

* Global tablet shipments grew just 43 percent annually in Q3 2012, compared with 289 percent annually in Q2 2011. This was the weakest growth rate since the modern tablet industry began in Q2 2010;

* Microsoft captured a niche 2 percent global tablet share in Q3 2012. The imminent release of the new Windows 8 operating system will likely drive Microsoft tablet volumes higher during the Q4 2012 holiday season.

Exhibit 1: Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q3 2012 1

Global Tablet OS Shipments (Millions of Units)Q3 ’11Q3 ’12
Apple iOS11.114.0
Global Tablet OS Market Share %Q3 ’11Q3 ’12
Apple iOS64.5%56.7%
Total Growth Year-over-Year %288.6%43.4%


The full report, Global Tablet OS Market Share: Q3 2012, is published by the Strategy Analytics Tablet & Touchscreen (TTS) service, details of which can be found here:

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