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Android gains on Apple in tablet space

22 июля 2011

Apple continues to lead the tablet market it created, but its rivals are gaining significant ground, according to the latest figures.

Apple shipped 9.3 million iPads in the second quarter of this year, giving it a commanding 61% share of the market, according to statistics released by Strategy Analytics on Thursday. However, Apple's market share is now significantly lower than the 94% it claimed a year ago, with Android emerging as its biggest competitor.

"Android captured [a] 30% share of global tablet shipments in Q2 2011," Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement. According to the company's figures, device makers – including Motorola, Samsung, Acer and Asus - shipped 4.6 million tablets running on the Android operating system in the three months to the end of June.

However, the Android OS still has some obstacles to overcome if it is to catch up to Apple.

"No Android vendor yet offers a blockbuster model to rival the iPad, and demand for many Android vendors' products remains patchy," Mawston warned.

"If Amazon decides to enter the Android tablet category later this year, that will bring fresh excitement and buzz to the Android community, but Amazon will need to deliver a truly standout offering if it really wants to make headway against the popular iPad," he added.

Amazon is rumoured to be working on a tablet, based on the Honeycomb version of the Android OS, that will hit the shelves in the autumn in time to capture pre-Christmas sales.

With Apple and Android together controlling such a large slice of the tablet pie, it is difficult for other players to make their mark. Nonetheless, Microsoft managed to capture a 4.6% share of the market in Q2, making it the world's third-biggest tablet player despite, as Strategy Analytics puts it, "not yet having a platform fully optimised for finger-driven tablets".

In other words, a number of electronics firms are shipping tablet devices running Windows 7, a PC operating system, rather than one optimised for a tablet or smartphone. Microsoft is expected to make a more credible push into the tablet space with Windows 8, which industry-watchers expect to see on the shelves in about a year's time.

RIM is also struggling to gain traction - its QNX operating system, which powers the PlayBook tablet, shipping half a million units in Q2 to give it a 3.3% share.

Источник: Total Telecom

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