As Apple experienced a relatively slow third quarter, Android tablets saw a boost in sales, with a new study showing that shipments of devices powered by Google's OS more than doubled from last year.
According to Strategy Analytics' Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies report, global tablet shipments for slates running Android were up to 10.2 million units, compared to the 5 million units shipped in 3Q11. However, Apple saw little growth in its shipments, selling 14 million units in the third quarter of this year, only up slightly from the 11.1 million units shipped during this period in 2011.
Furthermore, as Apple's global tablet market share slipped from 65% to 57% in the year, Android's rose from 29% to 41% of all tablets. Despite this gain for Google and the manufacturers of Android tablets, 3Q12 is said to have seen the weakest overall growth rate since the modern tablet market began.
"Global tablet shipments reached 24.7 million units in Q3 2012, rising a sluggish 43% from 17.2 million in Q3 2011," said Peter King, director of Strategy Analytics. "Demand for tablets slowed due to on-going economic uncertainty and consumers holding off purchases in anticipation of multiple new models, like the iPad mini, during the upcoming Q4 holiday season."
While Apple remained the overall leader of the market in terms of vendors, Microsoft wiggled its way into the tabletsphere, now having a 2% share of the global tablet market. With the holiday season right around the corner, and the recent launch of Windows 8, as well as a handful of slates running the new interface, it's likely that Microsoft will have more of a presence in the market next quarter. And with Apple just releasing a revamped fourth-generation iPad and a smaller counterpart, the company's growth could bounce back.
With the tablet race getting tighter, as Android shipments catches up to those of the iPad, and the entrance of Microsoft with Windows 8, it will surely be interesting to see the results in coming months!
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