Tablet market share

Android has grown to capture 27 percent of the tablet market, that just one year ago was 100 percent filled by Apple.  With the launch of the original Galaxy Tab things have been on a slow uphill climb, but much like the smartphone space diversity and a much more open ecosystem will allow Android to grab a large portion of the pie, and draw manufacturers who can see the profit potential from tablet hardware.  These numbers are impressive, but will likely seem pale when the Amazon Kindle Fire is released, which is seeing upwards of 50,000 pre-orders daily according to internal Amazon documents obtained by the Cult of Android blog.

This parrots the meteoric rise of Android phones in another way as well -- you'll see this 27 percent number trying to be dismissed by detractors and nay-sayers everywhere, using all sorts of outlandish metrics to try and sweep it under the rug.  The fact remains -- people want Android tablets, and are buying Android tablets.  With the release of Ice Cream Sandwich and the Fire, this number's going to grow even faster.  We're here.  Deal with us, or get out of our way.

Sources: Strategy Analytics; Cult of Android

 

Reader comments

Android's share of the tablet market grows to 27% in one year

81 Comments

i think the 27% of tablet owners simply didnt want to pay 499 for an iPad and bought sub $300 android tablets, ie the original Galaxy Tab. So in a way apple loses no ground because most of that 27% is priced out of that consumer. Android needs to sell a Tablet at 399 or cheaper that is better than iPad. imo.

....or maybe 27% of consumers are smart enough to know that Apple products are too limiting with the choices that are made for you. They know that Android devices are the way to go if you want USB ports, expandable storage, native Flash compatibility, choice of manufacturers, choice of screen size, etc.

Too limited? Seriously, you are defending android TABLETS?! How many specific apps are available again? I thought so... Don't even start on "bla bla bla... android smartphone apps scale to honeycomb... bla bla bla" because I've tested some phone apps on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and they sucked! Wasted screen space! We can choose 16, 32 or 64 GBs, that's enough for tablet users (I have hundreds of apps and I've only used 16gbs, and I also have hundreds of songs and dozens of movies and series). Are you android guys not over flash yet? Flash is dying really fast, all videos are available for the iPad (some of them only run on skyfire, but they do run), and many flash games are available in the App Store. The rest will soon disappear (be converted). Flash is a bad thing for you guys. Not optimized for touch!!!!!!! We don't have to choose from many manufacturers because we can get one from the best! That means, no fragmentation!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone I know who has an iPad loves its' screen size, differently from other companies, apple does a LOT of research to choose the perfect size. If you want a small screen, buy a smartphone. If you want a big one, buy a laptop/desktop. In that way developers will easily make their apps because they only have to think about 1 device, with 1 resolution, 1 form factor and aspect ratio.

How's that file system access workin out for you? Grabbing a file from your home server over wifi works great too. If you don't have an iPad.

The screen is the perfect size? To who?!?! Everyone right Steve???!!! What's perfect is you proving our perceptions of apple and their fanboys and reassuring everyone why we love android.

And almost every app does scale up. Their way be wasted space on some but at least it looks good and we don't need a 2x button to blow it up and pixelating.

yeah, because 95% of the public needs to "grab a file from their home server". Do you hear how ridiculous that sounds?

Religiously I can grab a song or video from my home server from anywhere in the world, I can also stream through upnp to phones, tablets and gtv, I have set up many servers for many android people once they realize that it can be done very easily and cheaply, using a dlink dns-323 or similar device,....... But I guess you wouldn't appreciate it until apple says you can...

That's awesome for you, and Android is the right choice in your case. But I PROMISE you, virtually no one in the non-geek segment of society (that's not us BTW) wants to run a server in their basement so that they can move files to/from their tablet. If you really think there's a market for that, then you're utterly delusional.

I've been running windows home server for years and love it, and I'm also a happy EVO owner so please don't just assume I'm an Apple shill because I happen to disagree with you.

Just because 95% of the public doesn't NEED to do it, doesn't mean that they shouldn't have the option if they WANT to.

But the problem is, adding all those features that almost no one will use is a waste of effort on the part of the engineers, product designers, and QA testers. The thing people can't seem to remember is that Apple doesn't make niche products - they make products that the masses want. And the masses don't care (or probably even understand) moving files from a server in their basement.

That is by far the best response I've ever read. Completely captures the heart of Apple Fan boys logic.

"Everyone I know who has an iPad loves its' screen size, differently from other companies, apple does a LOT of research to choose the perfect size."

there is never a single "perfect size". people are different. they like to customize.

Just smile and nod :)

Android users choose and customize a device to fit their needs, Apple users customize their needs to fit the device ;)

Hahahahahahaha this guy is funny, flash is still tha dominant source of video even if it is dying. And consumers want choices, they wanna choose their screen size they wanna have expandable memory or even hdmi output, and usb inputs and outputs.

I protest against corporate greed. I have no job. I have a hard time paying my bills, and I bought the newest iPhone 4S that Apple has a 66% profit margin on. I may be mentally handicapped. I am the 99%. Occupyapplestores.org

so essentially what you're saying is crApple uses generic garbage components compared to their equivalent Android counterparts so they can generate a higher profit margin....

Listen, Flash is dying like Windows is dying (hint: it's not).

And since when is partial updates to older devices not fragmentation when some Android devices getting updates faster than others is considered fragmentation. I'm pretty sure retards just throw that term around now without even giving thought to the situation or the meaning of the word.

Weak arguments. At least argue something valid, like how maybe if you're the type of person that hates shopping around then Apple may be for you.

It's sad that the Apple blogs will allow so many people to look so.stupid. The apps don't have to scale. That some lame Apple invented crap. You add the fragments API to.your app and when its run on a tablet it automatically switches to a UI that makes use of the larger screen. The apps you used probably scaled because they were written by some lame iOS devs that ported and knows nothing about Android APIs.

yeah its great using the outdated 4.3 size so when you were to watch a movie you can get those wonderful black bars..... Apple people crack me up, if they were to change the ipad to a 16x9 or 16x10 they would say how much better it is...

Hey dude most people who buy ipad and other tablets don't give a shit about Apps. People want to surf the web and read books. Only you kids want to play games and worry about Apps. You seriously think that just one screen size is all there
should be (maybe you do bc apple said so). I love the 7" it fits in all of my jean pockets and sport coats. I am going to get the 8.9 soon bc it is just way more portable. I love my ipad but I hate to carry it around bc its just too big so I gave it to my wife. She now wants a 7" tablet because she wants to put it in her purse. One size does not fit all. 27% and growing because the market is evolving.

Dam they better not buy a Sammy tablet 10.1. That is unless like apple u like to carry a fanny pack around holding all your cables to use on one port.

Although I don't think expensive android tablets are necessary, your point about some people just not wanting to pay for an iPad is interesting in a "you're probably right" kind of way.

OK, all 27% didn't get an Android tablet just because it was cheaper. Certainly some people did, but that's the whole point: you have options. Whether it be the Asus Transformer (which can cost you up to $500 depending on where you shop) or one of the cheaper $300 options (HTC Flyer), it's up to you what you want. I know one thing: the Transformer isn't a "cheap" device by any means, and tons of people have them.

So whether it be price or hardware options or whatever, the point is that with Android tablets you have more choices than the 1 model. Some people like that.

People have all kinds of reasons for buying what they buy. Price is only 1 factor, and only with some devices.

Well Andy Rubin said there was about 6 million Android tablets, but that just included devices with the Android Market. Of those 6 million, 3.42 million are Honeycomb tablets based on the 1.8% of 190 million Android devices with Android Market access. Since many of the Honeycomb devices are around $400 that's clearly not people who considered the iPad but said it was too expensive. If I wanted the iPad I would have spent the extra $100 over my Transformer.

The funny thing about Apple fanboys is that they always think that owning Apple products make them look cool and make them feel superior everything else are cheaper. In an exhibition I saw and tried Asus Transformer and decided immediately to get it for SGD799 that is USD650. I didn't even bothered to look for ipad2. 6 months later it is still a beautiful and powerful tablet. The docking keyboard works seamlessly, any combination of input you throw in; touch screen, keyboard, touchpad or even a USB keyboard, any combination you like. HDMI output and yes USB ports for easy connection to external harddrive. The other day my colleague came to my house. I have some videos of our companY event in my Asus Transformer. With DLNA I played the videos on a Samsung TV. She requested the video to be sent to her ipad2, but unfortunately it won'tplay on ipad2 apparently because it was recorded in Full HD. I beamed it to my HTC Desire HD phone, it played smoothly. So at the end I helped her convert the video to 720p so that she could played it on ipad2.
Same thing when I purchased the huge 4.3" screen HTC Desire HD. I didn'teven asked how much an iphone4 with 3.7" was. It is just a joy to browse the net on the go with a bigger screen. I have over 400 apps and games on my phone, yet my daughter always play one: KidMode, an app with hundreds of educational games tailored for kids of all ages individually. Don't bother to look for it in Apple appstore. It will never be in Apple appstore since KidMode runs on Flash.
so Apple fanboys that are all about choice, there are life outside apple you never know what you have missed out.

Like the iPod and the iPhone, it's just a matter of time for the open infrastructure to overtake the closed infrastructure that was first to market.

This won't even be a conversation by Xmas 2013....

I'm fairly sure the iPod hasn't been toppled by anything. I could be wrong. It's happened before. But I don't think I am.

I have been holding out upgrading from my Cyanogen modded NookColor for a while. As soon as the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is released and upgraded to ICS, I am buying a new tablet! (or another tablet with a high density super AMOLED screen...not likely, I know)

+1 Exactly me too. There isn't many tablets out there that beat the nook w/CM7 for the price and what you get.

Come this Christmas and things might be different.

=X=

And strangely, the media, even much of the tech media would have you believe that the iPad absolutely rules the tablet market, and will continue untouched.

On a recent podcast. I heard the statement "why would anyone in his right mind buy any tablet other than an iPad", which was responded to by Yups, and Ahahs by the other "experts" on the session. As an ecstatic happy ASUS Transformer owner, I take exception, but perhaps I am not in my right mind - whatever.

A few more years, and Apple's going to be in precisely the same situation as they are in PCs. A decent, very profitable niche of around 10% market share, catering to an affluent market that has no problem with paying Apple's exorbitant prices for easy-to-use consumer products. Android will be ridiculed by Apple for being inelegant, but will command the lion's share of the market.

Variety and price wins out in the end. No way could Apple continue to push higher-priced products with such market share forever.

One point of contention...

With the iPhone Apple pushed into, albeit very successfully, a very mainstream consumer market. That isn't bad by any means but the phone is seen more as an appliance & everyday item. People rely on them almost more than anything else. There is also a sense of entitlement that emerges over the phone. People will pay their phone bills before other bills quite often to prevent the loss of communication.

This has cheapened Apple's audience to a large extent. There is an ever widening section of people who have an iPhone that are scarcely aware of the Mac, Apple TV (very niche, not unlike Google TV), or various other Apple offerings.

I'm not giving scientific data at all so flame me for my opinion not that I am giving 'facts'.

This is nice to read, all iv heard (i think from the 4S conference) is that Android tablets are only selling to stores and that they have no real foothold at all. But i found that hard to believe. Good to see some true numbers reaffirming my beliefs.

I definitively think you (writer) are right. Not only will the Kindle Fire boom the Android tablet sales, but ICS (and 2nd gen tablets) will boom them as well. I personally have held off (but REALLY want) an Android tablet because no first gen (xoom, 10.1 etc) had all the features i wanted in one device. However now with the Xoom 2 and Transformer Prime (currently my fav) i really think i will be buying one. 2nd generation is always the best time to jump aboard when dealing with tech.

People can say "oh well they have 27% because the ipad 2 is so expensive so people want cheap tablets so they get android, and get they what they pay for..aka crap. All apple has to do is release a ipad at the $399 price range and android is done!"

But thats a mute point, because Apple doesnt change. Apple could have squashed android before it started by putting the iphone on other carriers instead of just AT&T, but they didnt for years! Hence people wanted phones like a iphone, they got Android and loved it. Now iPhones are on every carrier basically and its to late, android is in the lead and still growing!

Same applies to tablets, apple wont change their ipad size or prices, just like they havent/wont for their iphone. The ipad will continue being super expensive and 10 inches. So again, mute point.

Apple's standards and creative direction is both its biggest success and its biggest failure. They hit a certain market really hard and that market loves them and their products (expensive, locked down, easy to use etc). But that market is also really small. If they would have expanded (iphone on other carriers earlier, diff sized iphones/ipads, lower price ranges etc) they would be dominating the smartphone/tablet market. But they stick to their niche and in time get trumped only getting 20% of the market while Android or Microsoft (when it comes to computers) dominate with 70%.

The only reason they can survive with their 20% is because they (the 20%) are super loyal customers (some say fanatic) and keep buying their products one after the other. A apple owner will almost always buy another apple product, or at least upgrade the one they have again and again. Its like a drug, they survive dealing to only 20% of people because 19.999% of that 20% always come back to them for more.

I don't think you should be comparing market share with winning. I only say this because someone may want to buy an iphone/iPad but can't afford it so they end up with a low cost android phone/tablet. Doesn't this mean that Apple is wrong for not selling a low cost device or that Android is right for selling low to high-end devices?

I say neither. Just different. Will Android get more of the tablet market share then Apple. Maybe, but with the margins that Apple has on it's products it will continue to make more money then the Android manufactures. And as a bonus Apple doesn't have to pay Microsoft for every device they sell :)

Android doesn't sell devices. Much like the phones I bet you'll find that the cheap ones don't sell. I'd love for someone to actually find evidence that anyone is paying MS anything. Its amazing how all these agreements are protected by NDAs but people claim to know the payment amounts. It would be wonderful if people also disclosed the patents that are being infringed upon.

Actually, it depends on how you define the 'winning' conditions.. Profit-wise, it would probably be Apple since they lower their manufacturing and material costs by buying in huge quantities, producing a severely limited range of devices, and selling for a premium price. No surprise at the profit margin there.

If you define 'winning' as the total number of devices out there of each OS, Android is winning in some areas and quickly catching up in others. At the rate tablet devices are coming out and improving, Apple's share of the Tablet market will follow the smartphone and be reduced to sharing less than 50%.. I'd guess within 2 years..

I really don't think that those thinking they can't afford an iPad automatically consider a lower cost tablet. Some simply don't buy one. Others would like options like connecting to their monitor or TV, memory expansion ports (e.g. SD cards, USB drives). Maybe they want the option to have a file system so that apps can share data files (e.g. multiple apps can look at the same standard files like Epub, .doc, .xls, etc).

The simple fact of the matter is Apple makes great devices but you are restricted by the system in various ways to make it so stable. Android on the other hand gives more control to the user and supports MANY configurations of hardware allowing choices good and bad.

I'd place a bet that if any manufacturer creates a device that has a great set of commonly used Apps pre-installed, that works well together and does not require most users to download anything else out of the box, it would sell well. That is part of the attraction of the Apple products, it is a nice package.

There are plenty of $399 and $499 Android tablets out there that far exceed the capabilities and build quality of the iPad. People buy the iPad because that's all they know. Those that do some research start to see the Android alternatives and that they are indeed superior to Apples' offering. Not to mention the difference in form factors which plays a big role. Oh and one last thing. There was an article/survey done asking whether people were interested in buying a tablet. 41% of those that responded said "NO" but stated they were going to to buy an iPad. Shows how smart some of these folks are. This is what this Cult of Steve has bred. A bunch of lemmings not even knowing what they are buying buy will buy it because there is an "i" in front of it.

While I am an android loyalst. I can't help but notice that the iPad does what you want it to do when you want it... no matter what app it is. (According to my tests at best buy). I do alot of Epub reader usage on the GT 10.1. I annotate, underline, etc using Mantano. I experience page turning delay's skips and hiccups that I don't EVER see when I use the iPad. Does anyone else know of an epub reader and annotation app that works flawlessly?

The 100+ android tablets take 27% where as the 1 apple tablet takes 73%. Sounds like a fair fight... And they are still losing.

And maybe when you realize that Apple offers a PRODUCT and Google offers a PLATFORM you will see that there is no fair just a different strategy. If you would like to see the success of PRODUCT vs. PLATFORM please refer to the downfall of the Apple Mac to Windows based PCs. Choice is what drives consumers and inspires companies to develop and innovate their products that offer the Android platform. Whereas iOS based hardware has no other driving factor than to maximize profits and offer incremental upgrades. Another great example of how this fails is Sun Microsystems and SGI. They went proprietary with their Unix and crumbled to Linux and BSD boxes. Very similar to the Mac vs. PC thing.

Umm.. Ok, I'm aware of 16,32,64 GB versions of iPad and iPad2 each with Wifi only and with 3G.. That adds up to 12 for me.. What are the other 15?

I started to type out my opinion, but got bored. Gist is this: iPad sells well because it's what people know AND because it's easy AND because it's reliable AND because people that use it LOVE it.

Android has yet to release a decent tablet compared to the iPad, which is why Android tablets haven't sold well (I think e-reader sales are inflating the numbers a bit). I hope the ICS tablets are decent, and they sell better in the future. For now, I'm enjoying the iPad my work bought me to build our iPad app on. Hoping the Xoom 2 is good enough for me to buy for myself.

"Android has yet to release a decent tablet compared to the iPad, which is why Android tablets haven't sold well (I think e-reader sales are inflating the numbers a bit)"

WTF!? That's like saying iPad2 is inflating iPad sales.

Actually a better comparison would be iPod Touches inflating iPad sales..

I think he meant that the Nook may have inflated the tablet numbers even though it is primarily promoted as an e-reader. The same could be said for the upcoming Amazon Fire.

The iPad sells well because it has apps that make it worthwhile to spend that much on an Apple tablet. If I spend $500 on an Android tablet, I don't get too many apps that would be so much more interesting than the apps that I'd get on my phone. This is the problem. And that makes it compelling even for Android lovers like me to consider an iPad.

You realize that a good number of "iPad-specific" apps are just iPhone apps scaled to fit the bigger screen, right? So you're still getting those same phone apps, but they call them "HD" and charge you like it's a completely different app.

Android apps, on the other hand, scale nicely (with a few exceptions), so there is no need to have a separate tablet and phone app in most cases. Now, some apps, like Words with Friends, make the tablet app look completely different, which is great, but not every app needs to do that. Sadly, this makes it into the press as "Honeycomb doesn't have any apps" when that's actually misleading.

Sure. But the number of iPad exclusive apps (as in designed for the iPad and not just scaled up) is still huge...and more than what you'd find on Android.

Ok, by iPad exclusive I will assume you mean they run on the iPad but not on any smaller iOS device (though they may work with OSX eventually now that they have an 'app'-type optional interface).

I don't wish to poke holes in this, but the information is slightly skewed. This time last year we had the original Galaxy Tab and some cheapo crap tablets. So, naturally, as more and more quality tablets were released and the market grew, so did the tablet sales. We've gone from only one real option to many in that year. I think next years numbers will be far more telling now that there are a number of high quality options out there to choose from. If we see the same growth, then rally around the flag and party. But we've gone from nothing available to building a selection. Large growth is bound to happen when you build up from nothing.

If you blew the chart up to the size of the wall, you might be able to make out the webOS slice.

...if you have really good vision.

Tablets existed before the iPad. Not a big market for them, but they're out there, so Apple does not own 73%. 65% maybe? 60?

I want to weight on the subject since I interact with the public on there internet needs and PC needs for a living. I owned a iPhone way before any android product. People I see with I pads are people that is breed by apple products because they think its cool, seems to show wealth and how its displayed Walmart here sales galaxy tab 10.1 iconia and vizio tablet. The I pad has a display model but others don't like ugly step kids but manager told me the others sell better because of price, hell the 10.1 is 400 even will I pad is 499 but anyway apple has more tablet apps but honeycomb is like windows why need a app when you can access the full site and flash games. I can go to Disney or nickjr full site unlike the I pad I bought my girlfriend so she got mind when I got a iconia and sell hers for a galaxy tab 10" its about using it

Per the source, it's 27% of all shipped tablets are Android. Shipped and sold are 2 completely different things.

They ship unsold iPads too, you know.

However they don't KEEP shipping them unless they are selling.

These numbers always stagger me because I have yet to see an Android tablet "in the wild". Seriously, I've never seen anyone (including some techie friends) use any tablet other than an iPad.

Jerry, are you sure that statistic is 27% and not just 27? (only half-kidding...)

I rarely see anyone using tablets period, therefore I refuse to believe there is even a market for them, sales numbers be damned!

I did actually see someone using a Transformer at Whole Foods the other day. I started to stop and say, "Hey, I have one too!" but I decided that I'm just not nerdy enough to do that sort of thing.

They did it with phones and it is only inevitable they do the same on tablets. The sheer amount of choices Android brings to the market will push it's market share upwards.

With Ice Cream Sandwich coming, hopefully more developers will push apps that utilize fragments to make the best use of the screen real-estate tablets provide. With more apps, come more users, which would also bring about even more apps!

In my view, the reason the Amazon tablet is proving so popular is content. It's the one thing the iPad has over every Android tablet. I plug it in to my computer and it syncs all my picture, movies and music straight on over. The same cannot be said of Android - tablet or phone, there is no perfect sync solution. Of course, that my movies and music are already purchased in iTunes had a large influence on my decision to buy an iPad. This is where Amazon will compete and succeed and where all other Android manufacturers fail - content from desktop to tablet/phone. No mucking about with networked hard drives, just wired/wireless sync to the consumer's PC. For this reason I own an Windows Phone 7 phone and an iPad. I love Android, but getting it to play nice (and EASY) with my digital, purchased content became too much of a headache.

You are very wrong... Adobe takes all photos from my phone every time I connect it. Google Music always updates my music library and with cloud storage on the rise... who cares? Besides, are you so damn lazy that you can't point, click, and drag. Calendars, email, wallet, contacts, social networking, documents; If you took the time to learn it and set it up (and it's not hard or time consuming) the big G will sync all of that for you. "Why do I have to work so hard for syncing?" you may ask. Well, first off it"s not hard but yes, it does require more work than iOS. The reason is that none of this is forced upon you. "If you want it, make it happen" is pretty much the mantra of Android. Where as with Apple it is more of "You want it because we made it happen". Also, for your iTunes argument... Look out for Gtunes! Now that I think about it... Microsoft, Apple, AND Facebook may need to get ready for the IT god we all so affectionately call Google. At least Nvida, Adobe, and Sun Microsystems were smart enough to get on board.

Android may need some work but it has a huge spectrum to cover and it is only going to blow your mind in the future if not now.

27% is nothing compaired to what it will be by x-mas 2013 (as mentioned before). Have we all forgotten that Tegra 3 is just around the corner? Media hounds, PC/console gamers, hospitals, CEO's down to Mail Room Clerks. All will be coming to android for a level of performance and communication that make some recent sci-fi movies look as up to date as Jules Verne.

As for our Apple nob slobbing friend's comment on Flash being dead. You sir could not have been and more wrong or made yourself look anymore... challanged. Why would one of the world's leading hardware developer (cough, cough, Nvidia) give Adobe major role in a certain project (cough, cough, Kal-el) to make sure that Air and... you guessed it... FLASH worked on mobile devices as seemless as if on the latest PC (or Mac if that will make you feel better). No Flash is not dying or dead. There is so much that can be done with it, the surface hasn't even been scratched.

iPhones/iPads may work for you, sir, but for the rest of us... Well, we choose different. Just as one Android user chooses a Galaxy Tab and the other a Transformer and the other an Atrix and the other a Flyer and the other a Nook and the other a Kindle, and the other a Vizio, and the other a Viewsonic and the other a Xoom...ect...ect...ect, iOS users have the right to choose... ... ... Oh wait... No you don't.

As an iPad and Acer A500 tablet owner, I use both for different purposes. However, the biggest difference is the usability - iPad has apps for TiVo, DirectTV, DirecTV Sunday ticket, Bloomber TV, and has had Netflix for a long time. The list is long.

The A500 does have a nice wide screen.

In comparison, I find the A500 to be slower and less stable than my 1st gen iPad. Dual core is useless since Android is not designed for dual core. Most of the "special" features I bought the A500 for like file access and a microSD card I rarely use.

However, after reading both TiPB and AndroidCentral forums I find that:
- iPhone / iPad users are generally helpful and like their devices
- Too many Android users are a bunch of malcontent flaming A-HOLES that spend their time flaming iOS users