Three months can make all the difference, at least if you're drafting estimates at Strategy Analytics. Now that we know 14 million iPads shipped in the third quarter, the analyst group believes that Apple's tablet market share dropped from 68.3 percent in the spring to 56.7 percent in the summer. All of the shift is attributed to Android -- researchers think that shipments of Google-based tablets surged from 7.3 million to 10.2 million, handing the platform 41 percent of an increasingly crowded space. It's the "collective weight" of so many Android-reliant companies leaping into the market rather than any one of them pulling ahead, Strategy Analytics says. We wouldn't be shocked if a few Kindle Fire HD sales played a part.
More than a few wildcards still surround the figures and their long-term impact. First is that these are estimates, not concrete results: companies like Amazon steadfastly refuse to provide shipment numbers and leave most of the final tally beyond Apple to educated guesswork. It's also an understatement to say that the market will change dramatically before 2012 is over. Between Windows 8's launch, possible Nexus 7 upgrades and two new iPads, there are a lot of pieces moving on the chessboard.
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Strategy Analytics: Android Captures Record 41 Percent Share of Global Tablet Shipments in Q3 2012
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments reached 25 million units in the third quarter of 2012. Apple iOS slipped to 57 percent global market share, allowing Android to capture a record 41 percent share.
Peter King, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, "Global tablet shipments reached 24.7 million units in Q3 2012, rising a sluggish 43 percent from 17.2 million in Q3 2011. Demand for tablets slowed due to ongoing economic uncertainty and consumers holding off purchases in anticipation of multiple new models, like the iPad Mini, during the upcoming Q4 holiday season. Apple shipped a disappointing 14.0 million iPads worldwide and captured 57 percent share in the third quarter of 2012, dipping from 64 percent a year ago. Apple's slowdown allowed the Android community to make gains and Android's global share of the tablet market now stands at a record 41 percent."
Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, "Android captured a record 41 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q3 2012, jumping from 29 percent a year earlier. Global Android tablet shipments doubled annually to 10.2 million units. No single Android vendor comes close to Apple in volume terms at the moment, but the collective weight of dozens of hardware partners, such as Asus, Samsung and Nook, is helping Google's Android platform to register a growing presence in tablets."
Other findings from the research include:
* Global tablet shipments grew just 43 percent annually in Q3 2012, compared with 289 percent annually in Q2 2011. This was the weakest growth rate since the modern tablet industry began in Q2 2010;
* Microsoft captured a niche 2 percent global tablet share in Q3 2012. The imminent release of the new Windows 8 operating system will likely drive Microsoft tablet volumes higher during the Q4 2012 holiday season.
Exhibit 1: Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q3 2012 1
Global Tablet OS Shipments (Millions of Units)
Global Tablet OS Market Share %
Total Growth Year-over-Year %
The full report, Global Tablet OS Market Share: Q3 2012, is published by the Strategy Analytics Tablet & Touchscreen (TTS) service, details of which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/bpqpnbs.