Google’s Android software helped tablet makers take a bite out of Apple's iPad overall market share in the slate computing space, claiming an impressive 22 percent of sales in the fourth quarter, up from the 2.3 percent the previous quarter, market researcher Strategy Analytics said.
In fact, according to a Strategy Analytics report, as total tablet sales doubled globally in the fourth quarter, the iPad took the biggest percentage losss dropping market share from 96 percent to 75 percent. The loss was a direct result of an exploding number of Android enabled tablets hitting the market.
According to the Boston-based research firm, tablet shipments rose to 9.7 million from 4.4 million in the third quarter.
In recent months the number of tablet makers using Android has gown exponentially as Google continues to provide Android software free to hardware makers in an effort to expand its share of the mobile ad market by increasing the system's user base.
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab provided the main thrust in Android market growth, according to Strategy Analytics. The electronics giant launched the device in dozens of countries and have been heavily promoting the slate as a smaller and smarter alternative to the iPad.
And it is not just in tab sales where the Android is leaving a mark. Another survey suggests in 2011 the deluge of new computer tablets ─ led by Adroid devices─ could present a shift in mobile application development as more companies move to make the devices a priority.
In fact, an IDC and Appcelerator study found new entrants to the tablet market are changing application development priorities, and businesses of all sizes are accelerating efforts to build mobile application strategies in an effort to cope with an explosion of both apps and devices.
While tablet interest in the nascent market hit an all-time high during that Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month ─ according to a report from technology research firm Yankee Group, tablet sales will grow from 21 million in 2010 to 168 million in 2014 ─ it is the new Android tablets that are generating significant interest and will challenge iPad 2 for developers attention, according to the survey.
However, the competition isn’t Apple about to feel sorry for Apple’s strong position. The Cupertino-based company recently reported it shipped 7.3 million iPads in the December quarter, up from 4.2 million in the September quarter.