According to analyst firm Strategy Analytics, in Q2 this year 51.7 million tablets were shipped, a massive 43% increase compared to the same period in 2012. With more people deciding to ditch full blown computers and make the switch to a tablet around the house and sometimes even for work, it’s not surprising to hear that numbers are up. What is a bit of a shock however is that the iPad appears to be losing popularity.
Apple didn’t invent the tablet but it’s fair to say that your average consumer didn’t have much interest in owning a tablet until the iPad was launched. Since its release the iPad has been the poster boy for tablets in the same way the iPhone has been the face of mobiles for the past few years. It looks like things are starting to change however as Android is not only now well established as the most popular platform for mobile phones but 67% of tablets shipped in Q2 were running the Android operating system.
While even the more affordable iPad mini will still set you back around £269 very capable Android tablets such as the Nexus 7 can be found for around £100 less and there are plenty of high-end options from companies such as Samsung if you want a tablet similar to the more expensive iPad. The sheer choice available when it comes to Android tablets gives the operating system a huge advantage over iOS, especially as there are no real options from Apple, other than second hand devices, for those after a cheaper tablet.
Windows tablets now account for 4.5% of the market and Microsoft will be hoping to increase that figure as more Windows based tablets become available. Though many may not associate Windows with tablet devices Microsoft’s own efforts such as the Surface have been well received and a number of manufacturers are giving support to the Windows platform.
While Apple may have seen a decline in both sales and market share there has not been a new version of the full sized iPad since Q2 2012 although Apple would have expected the iPad mini to significantly increase their audience and therefore boost sales. With the tablet market changing so quickly it will be very interesting to see how things have progressed in a year from now.