The latest report on the global market for tablets, from Strategy Analytics, shows that Android leads in shipments and market share – by quite a big margin. As The Next Web reports, these figures for Q2 of 2013 show Android shipments at 34.6 million – well ahead of Apple iOS shipments at 14.6 million.
In market share percentage, Android registers a huge 67% while iOS is at just over 28%.
I know that many Android zealots will hail these numbers as a sign of the iPad losing momentum (or worse) and ‘Android winning’ and so forth. I’ve seen a fair bit of that already on Google+. I think there a a few things worth considering along with these numbers though:
— There’s the ever-popular shipped vs. sold subject. The Q2 numbers for iOS tablets are the actual number of iPads sold, as announced by Apple on their Q2 earnings call last week. Many of the leading Android tablet makers never release sales numbers. Amazon never does, Google doesn’t, and Samsung only talk about shipments to distribution channels. Microsoft’s recent writedown of nearly a billion dollars for unsold Surface RT tablets shows how worthwhile those sort of shipment numbers can be.
— iOS tablets means iPad. There’s only one iPad, though with a few different models available, as compared to the myriad of Android devices from numerous vendors. None of the individual vendors or tablets have been shown to be close to iPad in sales or market share.
— iPad still dominates in all the latest reports on tablet web usage.
— It looks as if a big factor in the growth of overall Android tablet sales is the increasing number of very low-priced devices. That’s likely not a market that Apple has any interest in for the iPad. Even with the iPad mini line I don’t see Apple trying to match any of the $199 – $230 Android tablets anytime soon.
— There’s been no new iPad release yet this year. I expect the iPad share figures will look a lot better once they do.