Android tablets grab 39% market share to iOS' 58%

Krystal Peak · January 26, 2012 · Short URL:

The gap between Android tablets, iPad is closing but Apple has little to worry about

Everyone has been fighting for second place in the race to win over the tablet buyers. Apple has secured the top spot with its iPad, but a research report out Thursday morning shows that Android has captured a record marketshare for the close of 2011.

In the fourth quarter last year, Android managed to get one of its tablets in the hands of 39% of all tablet purchasers, according to the research firm Strategy Analytics.

Apple, meanwhile, maintains 58% market share in Q4 2011 (down from 68% in the fourth quarter of 2010).

“Apple shipped a robust 15.4 million iPads worldwide and maintained its strong market leadership with 58% share during the fourth quarter of 2011," said Peter King, a research director at Strategy Analytics, in a statement. 

He added that the global tablet shipments reached an all-time high of 26.8 million units in Q4 2011, surging 150% from 10.7 million in Q4 2010.  

Android climbing 10 percentage point is a key signal that the iPad isn't in a league on its own -- especially since some of the Android devices are far more financially attainable for the average working American -- at sometime at least $150 less than the iPad market.

From the Kindle Fire to the Samsung’s Galaxy Tab or Motorola’s Xoom, Android certainly has a more diverse catalog of products to the single iOS tablet, but it would be interesting to see just what percentage of the Android market is thanks to the unbelievable sale of the Kindle Fire this holiday season.  

December was a great month for Amazon where the company sold well over one million Kindle Fire's per week -- greatly thanks to the attainable price of $199. 

With an iPad 3 coming in 2012, consumers are curious if a smaller version (and price) will be available, especially now that the Apple is pursuing more of the education and youth market.

Even with Android closing the gap between the two top tablet operating systems has little to sweat, especially on the heels of its amazing Q4 results released this week. 

Shares of Apple jumped 8% in after-hours trading to $454, after posting late Tuesday that strong iPhone sales drove earnings to more than double to $10.57 billion on record revenue of $46.3 billion, handily beating analysts' estimates for the quarter.  

Analysts were expecting Apple's Q1 earnings report to be positive. But, in short, the company's report exceeded all expectations. Earnings increased a staggering 113% to $13.1 billion, up from $6 billion in the year-ago quarter, and well ahead of analysts' projections of $9.95 billion.

Revenue was up 73% from the previous quarter, to $46.3 billion, well above expectations $38.85 billion, according to consensus forecasts by Reuters Thomson. This is Apple's first $40+ billion quarter ever. 

For perspective, one of the companies that talked about making tablet computers years before Apple, Microsoft, only captured a slight 1.5% of global tablet OS market share in Q4 2011.

This minuscule market share spells trouble for the computer company and leave analysts and investors interested to see if the release of Windows 8 will do anything to help the company stay relevant. 

As the number of households with tablets skyrockets -- which is at about 19% of American adults, according to a recent Pew study -- the tablet wars will continue for the good of the consumer.

Some tablet creators are going the affordable route, others the luxury route and some the compact portable route. We even heard a few weeks back that Google will debut a Google tablet in the next six months.

Nearly three-quarters of small businesses are planning on buying tablets for their company next year -- and most of them want those new mobile devices to be iPads, according to the National Purchase Diary of North America.

The survey found that as the number of employees in the small business grew, so did the likelihood that they would be purchasing tablets for business.

For businesses with fewer than 50 employees, the intent to purchase a tablet was 54%. That percentage increased until it reached a staggering 89% of companies between 501 and 999 employees planning to buy those shiny flat computer devices. Of all the businesses considering a tablet, 73% thinking of going the route of the iPad.

It looks like a tablet kind of year to me.

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