According to Gartner, Android overtook iOS as the number one tablet operating system in the world last year, just as it did for smartphones in 2012.
While the numbers may sound grand for all Android OEMs, it’s really only Samsung, and to a lesser extent Asus, that benefitted from the increased numbers. Apple is still the single highest-selling OEM, as its iPads accounted for 70 million devices, or 36% of the market, in 2013. Samsung trailed with 37.4 million units for a 19% share, but it was the Korean company’s growth — over 300% — from the year earlier that astounds.
The overall tablet market grew in units shipped from 116.3 million to 195.4 million between 2012 and 2013, and all players benefited from the added volume, including Apple. Apple’s 70 million iPads sold in 2013 was 9 million more than the year earlier, buoyed by the cheaper iPad mini. Samsung released a wide range of Galaxy tablets at all price ranges, including the under-$200 Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 all the way to the $649 Galaxy Note 10.1.
Asus continues its slow climb into third place, accounting for 5.6% of the tablet market with 11 million units sold. That is followed by Amazon and Lenovo, the latter of whom also tripled its sales from the year before.
Perhaps more interesting, and alarming, is the “Others” category, which comprises not only smaller Android OEMs like Asus, but ultra-cheap Chinese manufacturers who sell Android without the Google Play Services included. Considering the race to the bottom for tablets was of a similarly high speed as it was for smartphones, it’s not surprising to see Android take the lead in market share. Usage share, however — the much more difficult metric to determine, whereby true market share is gauged by time logged by individuals — is still dominated by the iPad, which accounts for over four times the amount of developer revenue per user.
In terms of raw numbers, Android now stands at 62% market share, with Apple at 36% and Microsoft at a lowly 2.1%.