There's a new tablet leader in town. The year 2013 was a big step for Android tablets. For the first time ever, they outsold the iPad. Sales for the Android tablet reached 195.4 million last year, which is a 68 percent increase in total sales over 2012.
According to Gartner, Inc., Android tablets now makeup 61.9 percent of all tablets sold, iPads 36 percent, and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 2.1 percent. This is a big drop off for Apple whose iPads dominated over half of the market just last year at 52.8 percent.
Roberta Cozza, a Gartner research director, spoke of Android's current place in the market, "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." Cozza also discussed the importance for companies to keep improving technology, "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."
However, it isn't all bad news for Apple. They still dominate the high-end tablet market. While the Android tablet has successfully marketed itself to appeal to cost-conscience consumers, mobile experts don't believe that the market shift will have a dramatic effect on Apple since iPad users buy and browse more than users of other leading tablets. We saw the market shift the same way with the iPhone. Several competitors took chunks of the smartphone market from Apple, however, iPhone consumers still accounted for the largest share of buying and browsing.
If you're interested in buying an Andriod tablet, here's a link to a list of the five best that "represent the highest-quality Android-based tablets currently available" according to CNET.
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