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Android tablets take a huge chunk of iPad’s market share in Q3

Published Oct 26th, 2012 5:10PM EDT

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Who says that Android tablets aren’t cool? Research firm Strategy Analytics says that shipments of Android tablets surged to a new high in the third quarter of 2012, accounting for 41% of all tablets shipped. Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics’ executive director, says that there’s no one Android tablet responsible for the surge, which is more due to a large influx of devices from a wide variety of vendors including “ASUS (2357), Samsung (005930) and Nook.” Shipments of Apple’s (AAPL) iPad lineup, meanwhile, shrank to 57% of the market as “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.” Strategy Analytics’ full press release is posted below.

Strategy Analytics: Android Captures Record 41 Percent Share of Global Tablet Shipments in Q3 2012

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments reached 25 million units in the third quarter of 2012. Apple iOS slipped to 57 percent global market share, allowing Android to capture a record 41 percent share.

Peter King, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global tablet shipments reached 24.7 million units in Q3 2012, rising a sluggish 43 percent from 17.2 million in Q3 2011. 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 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.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Android captured a record 41 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q3 2012, jumping from 29 percent a year earlier. Global Android tablet shipments doubled annually to 10.2 million units. No single Android vendor comes close to Apple in volume terms at the moment, but 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.”

Other findings from the research include:

* 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 captured a niche 2 percent global tablet share in Q3 2012. The imminent release of the new Windows 8 operating system will likely drive Microsoft tablet volumes higher during the Q4 2012 holiday season.

Exhibit 1: Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q3 2012 1

Global Tablet OS Shipments (Millions of Units) Q3 ’11 Q3 ’12
Apple iOS 11.1 14.0
Android 5.0 10.2
Microsoft 0.4 0.4
Others 0.7 0.1
Total 17.2 24.7
Global Tablet OS Market Share % Q3 ’11 Q3 ’12
Apple iOS 64.5% 56.7%
Android 29.2% 41.3%
Microsoft 2.3% 1.6%
Others 4.1% 0.4%
Total 100.0% 100.0%
Total Growth Year-over-Year % 288.6% 43.4%

The full report, Global Tablet OS Market Share: Q3 2012, is published by the Strategy Analytics Tablet & Touchscreen (TTS) service, details of which can be found here:

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.