Apple may have had a record quarter and marginally beaten Android in terms of Q4 2011 smartphone sales, but Android is slowly gaining market share in the tablet space, chipping away at Apple’s dominant position.
According to a report by Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments were at an all time high of around 27 million units in Q4 2011, growing 150% year-over-year. Apple was still the leader in Q4 tablet shipments, but its market share dropped from 68% to less than 58%, while Android gained more than 10%, accounting for more than 39% of all tablet shipments.
The largest contributors to Android’s tablet market share have been Amazon, Samsung and Asus. Most of Android’s gains can be attributed to the popularity of the Amazon Kindle Fire. While the iPad continues to dominate the high-end tablet segment, Android tablets are more popular in the budget segment. No points for guessing who is capturing a majority of the profit in tablets (Hint: It rhymes with Bapple).
Surprisingly, even Microsoft shipped 1.5% of all tablets in Q4 2011, despite the fact that Windows 8 is at least 6 months away from launch. I expect it to gain a significant portion of the market, once Windows 8 is launched.
Check out some of these statistics about the tablet market in Q4 2011: