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Android Sells More Than iPad: Apple No Longer Dominates Tablet Market

By Clyde Hughes   |   Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 12:18 PM

More Android tablets were sold than iPads in 2013, the first time any tablet has outpaced Apple's, making Android the new king in the electronic tablet wars, research firm Gartner Inc. announced Monday in its 2013 report.

Android tablets dominated nearly 62 percent of the market in 2013, with 120.9 million units sold, a whopping 68 percent increase from 2012, when it sold 53.3 million units and had 45.8 percent of the market.

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The iPad sold 70.4 million units worldwide in 2013, an increase from 61.4 million units sold in 2012. However, it was not enough to keep pace with Android, as Apple's market share dropped from 52.8 percent in 2012 to 36 percent in 2013, according to Gartner. Sales for Android tablets and iPads represent more than 97 percent of sales in the electronic tablet 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," Gartner Research Director Roberta Cozza said in a statement.

"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," Cozza added.

The increase in electronic tablet purchases last year was sparked by the availability of less expensive smaller screen tablets.

Tech Crunch reported that less popular tablet brands like Amazon and Microsoft lost footing in the market as well.

"Interestingly, while many saw Amazon and its cut-price Kindle Fire as disruptors in the tablet space when the e-commerce giant first entered the market in 2011, it looks like the company has lost some steam," the website reported. "Sales were up by some 2 million to 9 million, but its overall market share declined."

Gartner said that Microsoft and its Surface Pro "still failed to capture major consumers' interest" despite incorporating Windows 8.1 in its 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," Cozza wrote.

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