iPad Now Being Overtaken by Android Tablets

    September 27, 2013
    Sean Patterson
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After Apple founded the modern smartphone market in 2007, it took several years for smartphones using Google’s Android operating system to collectively catch up to Apple’s smartphone shipments. Now just three years on from the release of the original iPad, it appears that Android manufacturers are already overtaking Apple in the tablet market.

Market research firm ABI Research today released data showing that manufacturers of Android-based tablets shipped more units during this year’s second quarter than Apple shipped iPads. In addition, Android tablet revenues matched those of iPads during the same quarter. These numbers confirm other analyst predictions from earlier this year, which stated that Android manufacturers would ship more tablets than Apple this year.

The speed with which Android manufacturers have caught Apple seems to have been due to price. Smaller, less-expensive 7-inch tablets now dominate Android tablet shipments. Sales of Amazon’s Kindle fire were enough to pressure Apple into releasing the iPad Mini, though the company had previously claimed the 10-inch iPad was the proper size for a tablet. Now ABI’s data shows that Apple is outselling the larger iPad, making up 60% of iPad shipments and a full 49% of iPad revenue. The shift toward smaller tablets has also pushed down the average selling price of both Android tablets and iPads.

“Twelve months is a long time for the peak lifecycle of a contemporary tablet,” said Jeff Orr, senior practice director at ABI. “To remain a leader, Apple must continue to innovate and address real-world market needs.”

  • Constable Odo

    You’ve got to be kidding me. When you say Android, you’re talking about maybe 50 companies selling Android tablets around the world and you’re comparing them all against one company selling high-end products. What would you expect? If anything it shouldn’t have taken as long as it did. Two years ago there were claims that Android tablets would overtake the iPad but it took two more years to finally become a reality. It definitely has everything to do with pricing. Do you know how many under $100 Android tablets are being shipped from China every month? Tens of thousands. However, shipping is not selling. Android tablets are bursting distribution channels to the seams. Like any other product on this planet, major market share always goes to the cheapest and not necessarily the best. Either way, Apple isn’t hurting at all because there will always be people willing to buy premium products and that’s what Apple sells. Despite all the Kias and Toyotas in the world, Porsche and BMW will survive and so will Apple.

    It’s a simple rule. If you want to win market share, don’t sell a better product. Sell a cheaper product and the market share prize is yours.

  • Rob

    Agree, one company versus many. This same comparison is also for IPhone versus Android. A better comparison would be Apple vs. some other company, say Samsung or Google/Motorola.