Apple is the king of the tablet market, but Android is making some serious moves in terms of closing the gap. Apple still has the lead, as they have for the last 10 quarters. However, this time, Apple only has 55% of the tablet market share, which is lowest it has been since the introduction of the iPad in 2010, according to market firm ABI Research.
This is some good news for Android tablets, and shows how much of a difference the lower price-point of the Android tablets makes. Apple has had to respond with the launch of the iPad mini, but it's still not priced as low as most Android tablets. “With the introduction of a smaller, lower-cost iPad mini, Apple has acknowledged Android’s beachhead of 7-inch-class tablets, though at the same time, it has failed to deliver a knock-out punch through innovation, pricing, and availability during the most critical selling period of the year,” says senior practice director Jeff Orr.
Apple gave up 14% market share this last quarter. The companies most responsible for impacting Apple's market share were Samsung, Amazon, and ASUS (likely from the Google's Nexus 7). Android tablets now make up more than 44% of tablet shipments. “As the OS of choice for the majority of device OEMs, we expect the Android ecosystem to continue growing in numbers – new manufacturers, better device choices for reaching more markets, and more developers finding value from apps and content,” adds Orr.
Time will tell if Android is able to take over the tablet market from Apple. At the rate it's going, it looks quiet probable. The tablet market is certainly competitive, and the back and forth battle between Android and iOS will continue going forth.