For a long time after its launch, the iPad was by far the best-selling tablet on the market, and no matter how hard they tried, rival devices didn’t stand a chance of stealing its market share. But that’s all changed, according to the latest figures from IDC.
Android-powered slates saw a staggering 163% increase in the last year, and they’ve now overtaken the iPad and opened up a rather large gap in market share.
IDC’s figures for Q2 2013 are most interesting when you compare them against Q2 2012. Back then, Apple shipped 17 million iPads, while this year it only shipping 14.6 million, a drop of 14%. That’s still not a bad number of sales, of course, but it’s nowhere near the number of Android tablets sold.
Android tablet sales rose almost 163% over the past year, from 10.7 million in Q2 2012 to 28.2 million in Q2 2013.
When you cover that into market share, Apple now holds 32.5%, while Android holds 62.6%. That’s a massive change from the same quarter a year ago when Apple held 60.3% and Google held just 38%.
Of course, you could argue that there are far more Android tablets than there are iPads, with offerings from Sony, Asus, Acer, Google, Samsung, and many more. But remember that there were just as many this time last year, and the iPad was beating them all off without even breaking into a sweat.
So what’s changed? Well, the competition has gotten a lot better — as has the Android ecosystem. There has also been an increase in low-cost devices like the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire. But the fact that Apple hasn’t released a new iPad since Q4 2012 also plays a big part in it.
“A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors,” said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets at IDC.
“With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that’s likely to continue into the third quarter. However, by the fourth quarter we expect new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to drive impressive growth in the market.”
As for other tablet operating systems, Windows managed to grab 4.5%, but only 0.5% of that went to Windows RT, which powers the Surface RT. When you consider that the BlackBerry PlayBook — which is now two years old — grabbed 0.3%, you can see why Microsoft is unhappy with Surface RT sales.