Tablet Numbers Are In: Android Ahead

Android now holds a position in the tablet market as dominant as it is in smartphones. IDC's Q2 sales figures show that Google's operating system powered 67% of all tablets sold in the last three months. For Apple poor iPad sales meant that its market share dropped to 28% - essentially a reversal of the relative positions of one year ago.

We already knew that Apple sold fewer iPads than a year ago, and that those it did sell were mostly entry level iPad Minis. For Google the position is similarly interesting - more than a third of the total tablet market were white box Android tablets, essentially no-name Chinese imports at the commodity end of the market. These have reached the stage of being impulse buys - however the experience isn't always good and longer term I have to wonder whether poor experiences with these Android devices will push people away from the platform next time they buy.

Microsoft managed to capture 4.5% of the market with Windows 8/RT tablets, much better than many had predicted. With the recent price cut on the Surface RT likely to bump that figure higher in the next quarter.

The rate of growth of the tablet market was impressive - at 50% year on year - and both Microsoft and Apple will be looking for better results in Q3. Especially considering the rate of contraction of traditional PC sales.

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