Android outshines iOS to become the top operating system for tablets worldwide

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google, apple, android, ios, tablet, sales

Google's Android has effectively overtaken Apple's iOS in terms of worldwide tablet sales. According to research conducted by Gartner last month, Android tablets collectively dominated the tablet market in 2013 with sales of 120.9 million units and a market share of 61.9 percent.

Compared with the year 2012, when 53.3 million Android tablets were sold, 2013 witnessed a whopping 127 percent surge in worldwide sales of Android tablets. Over the same period, iPad sales grew to 70.4 million from 61.4 million.

The dramatic boost in sales from several different manufacturers had Android gaining the largest share in the tablet market. While Android's market share grew from 45.8 percent in 2012 to 61.9 percent in 2013, iOS's market share dropped from 52.8 percent to 36 percent during the same period.

Table 1: Worldwide Tablet Sales to End Users by Operating System, 2013 (Units)

Operating System

2013 Sales

2013 Market
Share (%)

2012 Sales

2012 Market
Share (%)

Android

120,961,445

61.9

53,341,250

45.8

iOS

70,400,159

36.0

61,465,632

52.8

Microsoft

4,031,802

2.1

1,162,435

1.0

Others

41,598

<0.1

379,000

0.3

Total

195,435,004

100.0

116,348,317

100.0

Source: Gartner (February 2014)

Increased demand for low-cost tablets from off-brand manufacturers especially in the emerging markets had a negative effect on Apple's market share. While overall tablet sales grew by 145 percent in emerging countries, the figure stood still at 31 percent in mature markets.

The iPad remains the most sought after tablet nonetheless and with that Apple retained its spot as the top tablet maker, followed by Samsung, which reported 37.4 million in sales, and had a market share of 19.1 percent. The South Korean company showed a phenomenal growth last year compared with 2012, when it sold just 8.5 million tablets.

Table 2: Worldwide Tablet Sales to End Users by Vendor, 2013 (Units)

Vendor

2013 Sales

2013 Market Share (%)

2012 Sales

2012 Market Share (%)

Apple

70,400,159

36.0

61,465,632

52.8

Samsung

37,411,921

19.1

8,583,146

7.4

ASUS

11,039,156

5.6

6,262,371

5.4

Amazon

9,401,846

4.8

7,707,800

6.6

Lenovo

6,525,762

3.3

2,186,993

1.9

Others

60,656,161

31.0

30,142,374

25.8

Total

195,435,004

100.0

116,348,317

100.0

Source: Gartner (February 2014) 

Overall, 195.4 million tablets were sold last year, up 68 percent from 2012.

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