ABI Research has revealed that the iPad made up 55 percent of tablet shipments in the third quarter while Android claimed a 44 percent share. That’s a 14 percent decline for the iPad compared to the second quarter. Amazon, Asus, and Samsung are in the ascendancy with a strong range of Android tablets and sales are rising fast.

We discussed this issue earlier this month after an analyst tried to answer the question – when will Android overcome the iPad? Sameer Singh predicted that mid-2013 will see Android take the lead in terms of shipments. The ABI analyst Jeff Orr is an agreement,

“As the OS of choice for the majority of device OEMs [original equipment manufacturers], we expect the Android ecosystem to continue growing in numbers — new manufacturers, better device choices for reaching more markets, and more developers finding value from apps and content.”

Expectations are that the iPad mini will not do much to help Apple retain market share. Orr said,

“With the introduction of a smaller, lower-cost iPad Mini, Apple has acknowledged Android’s beachhead of 7-inch-class tablets, though at the same time, it has failed to deliver a knock-out punch through innovation, pricing, and availability during the most critical selling period of the year.”

A lot of iPad sales are expected over the holiday season, but more and more people are choosing Android tablets and this looks like it will be the last Christmas that the iPad dominates the tablet market. Tellingly there was no mention of Windows 8.

Simon Hill
Simon is an experienced tech writer with a background in game development. He writes for various websites and magazines about the world of tech and entertainment. He uses Android every day and is currently permanently attached to his Galaxy Note 5.