Android driven tablets are gaining market share - trying to 'snatch' it from Apple's iPad

Google-powered devices closed in on Apple in the tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to new research. The data from research firm Strategy Analytics showed Android’s market share jumped to 39 per cent from 29 per cent in the same quarter a year earlier.

Global Android tablet shipments tripled annually to 10.5 million units,” said Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston.

“Dozens of Android models distributed across multiple countries by numerous brands such as Amazon, Samsung, Asus and others have been driving volumes. Android is so far proving relatively popular with tablet manufacturers despite nagging concerns about fragmentation of Android’s operating system, user-interface and app store ecosystem.”

Apple’s iPad remained the clear leader in the market, at 58 per cent for the three-month period, despite the threat from lower-cost Android devices. However, that was about 10 per cent lower than the 68 per cent recorded in 2010. Microsoft’s share of the market was 1 per cent, but its upcoming operating system, the tablet-friendly Windows 8, may help boost that.

Almost 67 million tablets were shipped last year, compared with 18.6 million in 2010, as consumers turn away from netbooks and entry-level PCs. Almost 27 million were shipped in the final quarter of the year, up 150 per cent compared with a year earlier.


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