Apple’s (AAPL) massive lead in the tablet market grew in the second quarter as the sleek third-generation iPad and less expensive iPad 2 combined to take back a small chunk of market share that Android tablets had previously stolen. Market research firm Strategy Analytics on Wednesday issued a new analysis of the tablet market following Apple’s June-quarter report on Tuesday and according to the firm, Apple’s share of the tablet market rose from 62% to 68% in the second calendar quarter, reaching its highest level in two years. Apple reported having shipped 17 million iPads between April and June, and Strategy Analytics estimates that a total of nearly 25 million tablets were shipped globally during that timeframe.
“Global tablet shipments reached 24.9 million units in Q2 2012, jumping 67 percent from 14.9 million in Q2 2011, Strategy Analytics analyst Peter King said. “Demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users remains relatively healthy. Apple shipped a robust 17.0 million iPads worldwide and maintained its strong market leadership with 68 percent share during the second quarter of 2012. Apple continued to shrug off the much-hyped threat from Android and the iPad’s global tablet share is at its highest level since Q3 2010.”
Executive Director Neil Mawtson added, “Android captured 29 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q2 2012, remaining static from 29 percent a year earlier. Global Android tablet shipments grew by more than half to 7.3 million units. Despite high expectations for companies like Amazon, Samsung, Acer and Asus, the Android community has yet to make a serious dent in Apple’s dominance of the tablet market. Unspectacular hardware designs, limited uptake of cellular models and a modest number of tablet-optimized services have been among some of the main reasons for Android’s mixed performance so far.”
Change may be brewing in the tablet market as Google’s (GOOG) Nexus 7 does its best to force Android tablet vendors to compete on price. Apple’s counter, the now-inevitable “iPad mini,” isn’t expected until some time this fall so Android rivals have plenty of work to do this summer if they hope to gain ground before Apple’s next wave of attacks begins.