Consumer preference for tablet devices continue to rise unabated with the latest research by Strategy Analytics revealing a rise of 43 percent in tablet pc shipments in Q2 2013 compared to the same period last year. Put another way, shipment of tablet devices reached 51.7 million in the said period, though the more interesting facts lies within it.
The research also revealed the growing popularity of the Android platform, which has recorded a healthy rise to 67 percent in the world’s connected devices segment. Of course, that came at the expense of Apple, whose share of the market fell to 28 percent.
Peter King, Director of Tablets at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global Branded Tablet shipments reached 36.2 million units in Q2 2013, up 47 percent from 24.6 million in Q2 2012. The Branded Tablet market had a rest period as very few new products came to market during the quarter. When we add in White-Box Tablets, shipments reached 51.7 million units, up 43 percent from 36.1 million in Q2 2012. Android is now making steady progress due to hardware partners like Samsung, Amazon, Google and White-Box tablets which, despite the fact that branded OEMs are lowering price-points and putting pressure on the White-Box manufacturers, are still performing well.”
King further added: “Apple iOS shipments were 14.6 million iPads in Q2 2013 which declined 14 percent annually. In the same quarter a year ago the first Retina display iPads were launched which could partly explain the decline as there were no new models in this quarter. However, to compensate that, iPad Mini which was not available a year ago, now freely available was expected to take the figure higher than 14.6 million.”
Microsoft’s Windows, which is a new entrant in the field, has managed to secure a 4.5 percent of the market share. The low figure isn’t surprising considering the low uptake of Windows based tablet devices, including the Surface tablet range, which have fared miserably in the market. In fact, many have already started to question if the Windows platform is at all suited to the tablet realm which could see far more acceptance in the laptop or ultrabook segment.
However, the meteoric rise of Android with support from hardware makers such as Samsung, Amazon and such could come under stress once Apple launches its new generation devices such as the iPhone and the iPad 5 this fall. With better specs and the thoroughly revamped iOS 7 platform, along with a refreshed design that analysts claim is more akin to the iPad Mini, Apple is likely to have another multi-million sales run in the market in the run up to the holiday season and beyond. Meanwhile, the rumor world is agog with conflicting stories about whether there is a new iPad Mini is slated for launch this fall and if it is going to feature a retina display.
Overall, while Android made some healthy gains in Q2 213, Apple could well be seen making a comeback of sorts in the next quarter.