According to a new report from technology analyst Gartner, worldwide tablet sales grew 68 Percent in 2013, and most noteworthy, Android captured 62% of the market – an increase of 127% year over year.
Worldwide sales of tablets to end users reached 195.4 million units in 2013, a 68 percent increase on 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. While sales of iOS tablets grew in the fourth quarter of 2013, iOS’s share declined to 36 percent in 2013. The tablet growth in 2013 was fueled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first time buyers; this led Android to become the No. 1 tablet operating system (OS), with 62 percent of the market
In the announcement, Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner stated, “In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications,” She added, “As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditized, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value — beyond just hardware and cost — to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins.”
Despite a drop off in Apple market share Ms. Cozza sees no long term worries for the technology giant, “Apple’s tablets remain strong in the higher end of the market and, Apple’s approach will continue to force vendors to compete with full ecosystem offerings, even in the smaller-screen market as the iPad mini sees a greater share”.
In 2013, the share of Apple’s iOS dropped 16.8 percentage points as the market demand was driven by the improved quality of smaller low-cost tablets from branded vendors, and white-box products continued to grow in emerging markets. Gartner analysts said emerging markets recorded growth of 145 per cent in 2013, while mature markets grew 31 percent.
The emergence of Microsoft tablets through the second half of 2013 has been an interesting new wrinkle in the market, but so far there is little to report. According to Gartner, in 2013, Microsoft’s tablet volumes improved but share remained small. Despite Microsoft now acting more rapidly to evolve Windows 8.1, its ecosystem still failed to capture major consumers’ interest on tablets.
“To compete, Microsoft needs to create compelling ecosystem proposition for consumers and developers across all mobile devices, as tablets and smartphones become key devices for delivering applications and services to users beyond the PC,” said Ms. Cozza. Microsoft enjoys better shares in ultramobiles that are more productivity oriented, where its partners are ramping up new form factors and designs.