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October 26, 2012

Apple Loses Tablet Market Share in Q3, Android Sees Gains

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

There’s good news for Google (News - Alert) this week when it comes to tablet computer sales. According to new research, global tablet shipments reached 25 million units in the third quarter of 2012. Apple lost some ground, with its iPad slipping to 57 percent of global market share. This slip allowed tablets based on Google’s Android (News - Alert) operating system to capture a record 41 percent market share.

One year ago, Android held only 29 percent market share.

The study, conducted by research firm Strategy Analytics (News - Alert), found that while no single Android vendor comes close to Apple in volume terms right now, 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.

“Global tablet shipments reached 24.7 million units in Q3 2012, rising a sluggish 43 percent from 17.2 million in Q3 2011,” said Peter King, director at Strategy Analytics, in a statement announcing the results of the study. “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 (News - Alert) 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.”

Additionally, according to the study, 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 (News - Alert) captured a niche 2 percent global tablet share in the third quarter of 2012. The imminent release of the new Windows 8 operating system will likely drive Microsoft tablet volumes higher during the Q4 2012 holiday season.

Edited by Braden Becker
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