Global tablet shipments reached 25 million units in the third quarter of 2012 with Apple iOS losing market share to Android.
Global tablet shipments grew by only 43% year-on-year in the quarter that has just finished, a low growth rate compared with a peak rate of 289% annually recorded last year.
This chart shows the number of Apple and Android tablets that shipped in the three months July to September 2012 compared to the same period in 2011:
These figures come from Strategy Analytics based on figures they collect every quarter as part of its Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies service.
Describing the year-on-year increase of 43% as "sluggish", Peter King, Director at Strategy Analytics, said,
Demand for tablets slowed due to ongoing economic uncertainty and consumers holding off purchases in anticipation of multiple new models, like the iPad Mini, during the upcoming Q4 holiday season. Apple shipped a disappointing 14.0 million iPads worldwide and captured 57 percent share in the third quarter of 2012, dipping from 64 percent a year ago. Apple’s slowdown allowed the Android community to make gains and Android’s global share of the tablet market now stands at a record 41 percent.”
This relative improvement for Android fits in with our report earlier this month, based on figures from Pew Research relating to July-August 2012, that in the US Android had achieved a 48% share of the US tablet market, only four percentage points lower than Apple's 52%.
Commenting on Android's global situation Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said,
“Android captured a record 41 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q3 2012, jumping from 29 percent a year earlier. Global Android tablet shipments doubled annually to 10.2 million units. No single Android vendor comes close to Apple in volume terms at the moment, but the collective weight of dozens of hardware partners, such as Asus, Samsung and Nook, is helping Google’s Android platform to register a growing presence in tablets.”
In the US the Kindle Fire accounted for over a fifth of Android devices but as it only started to ship outside the US in September it isn't surprising that Mawston doesn't mention it in a global context.
Strategy Analytics includes Microsoft devices as a separate category and it is likely that with the release Windows 8 and the Surface its market share will see a big jump in next quarters figures. Equally this week's launch of the new Nexus range from Google may well enable Android to continue to make inroads into Apple's territory.
These are interesting times for tablets and touch.