Android Tablets Gain on iPad


Tablets using the Android operating system from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) have grabbed 41% of the market on shipments of 25 million units during the third quarter of 2012. The iPad from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) continues to lead with a 57% share in the quarter, but that's down from a 64% share in the third quarter of 2011.

The data comes from Strategy Analytics' latest report on the global tablet operating system market share. The research firm's executive director noted:

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.

Yesterday's earnings miss by Apple has been attributed to lower-than-expected sales of the iPad. The company shipped 14 million units in the quarter, but some projections had called for up to 17 million units. Now that the mini is here (and sold out already), then either manufacturing issues could reduce iPad and iPad mini sales or customers lining up to buy the cheaper minis may cause another slip in iPad sales.

And the iPad mini's entry-level price is $329, far above the $200 for a comparable tablet from Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Google or Samsung. That has got to have an impact on shipments, but we will not know until next year how big an impact.

Paul Ausick

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