The latest figures for the tablet market have been published by Strategy Analytics.
And the analyst firm has recorded more slippage in slate market share for Apple. The figures are for Q4 2011 market share, and show that the iPad has dropped to 58% from 68% in the final quarter of 2010.
That’s a considerable chunk of the market to lose to Android, which now holds 39%, up 10% year-on-year. The 40% mark is a figure that, earlier last year, some analysts were predicting Android would only reach in 2014.
Apparently the Kindle Fire and Nook budget Android slates represent some 40% of the Android slate share, so are currently driving the droid tablet world in the catch-up stakes, as anticipated.
Of course, these are estimates for tablets shipped, and how many are actually sold to consumers is another matter which is entirely more difficult to quantify.
Apple does tend to keep its inventory moving tightly with demand, and of course, the iPad 3 is just around the corner which could – and very likely will – change the market again.
Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, commented: “Android captured a record 39 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q4 2011, rising from 29 percent a year earlier. Global Android tablet shipments tripled annually to 10.5 million units.”
“Android is so far proving relatively popular with tablet manufacturers despite nagging concerns about fragmentation of Android’s operating system, user-interface and app store ecosystem.”
Global tablet shipments were 67 million units for 2011, up 260% on the previous year. The analyst firm noted consumers were increasingly purchasing tablets rather than laptops or even entry-level desktops.