Reports show that Google Android took the highest tablet OS market share for the opening three months of this year, surpassing Apple iOS.
Analysis firm IDC reported that iPad devices only amounted to 39.6 per cent of the market share, but Android tablets accounted for 56.5 per cent of all tablets sold in Q1 2013.
Despite taking second place in the tablet OS market share, Apple is still the biggest selling company for tablets as its iPad range sold 19.5 million units in the three-month period. This figure actually exceeded shipment predictions outlined by IDC for the quarter.
“Sustained demand for the iPad mini and increasingly strong commercial shipments led to a better-than-expected first quarter for Apple,” said IDC’s Research Director of Tablets, Tom Mainelli. “In addition, by moving the iPad launch to the fourth quarter of 2012, Apple seems to have avoided the typical first-quarter slowdown that traditionally occurred when consumers held off buying in January and February in anticipation of a new product launch in March.”
This quarter saw Microsoft take fifth place in the tablet market, earning itself a top five position for the first time. The software giant shipped 900,000 Microsoft Surface RT and Microsoft Surface Pro units in the first three months of this year.
However, other suppliers offering Windows 8 or Windows RT OS devices struggled to make any headway. In fact, they only managed to match Microsoft’s own shipment figures when all combined.
“Recent rumours have circulated about the possibility of smaller screen Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets hitting the market,” said Ryan Reith, Programme Manager for the Mobility Tracker Programme at IDC. “However, the notion that this will be the saving grace is flawed.”
“Clearly the market is moving toward smart 7-8 inch devices, but Microsoft’s larger challenges centre around consumer messaging and lower cost consumption. If these challenges are addressed – along with the desired screen size variations – then we could see Microsoft make even further headway in 2013 and beyond.”
Still can't decide? Read our iPad mini vs Google Nexus 7 article to help make up your mind.