Tablet Wars 2011-2012: iPads vs. Android Tablets. Facts and Forecasts.

chess tablet wars 2011 2012

Media tablets have become a fast-growing market with great opportunities. In just a few years, tablets have entered our lives and redefined our attitude towards mobile communication and networking, gaming, online shopping and office productivity.

There are currently two leading operating systems fighting for leadership of the global tablet market: iOS represented by Apple’s iPad devices and Android represented by a variety of vendors (Samsung, Amazon, Asus and others). Let’s see how they have been stacking against each other from early 2011 through the first half of 2012.


Q1 2011:

Apple Tablets Ruled the Game with a 65.7% Global Market Share; Android Took 34%

At the beginning of 2011, Apple products accounted for 65.7% of the global tablet market, while Android-based media tablets saw a collective market share of 34.0% (stats provided by IDC).


Q2 2011:

Apple Represented 68.3% of the Global Tablet Market; Android Slipped to 26.8%

As stated in IDC’s Press Release, worldwide media tablet shipments in the second quarter of 2011 were driven by continued demand for Apple’s iPad 2, which saw shipments reach 9.3 million units, representing a 68.3% share of the worldwide market. RIM’s PlayBook, introduced in the second quarter of 2011, took a 4.9% share of the market and made the Android-based media tablets slip to a 26.8% market share, down from 34.0% the previous quarter.


Q3 2011:

iPads Represented 61.5% of the Market; Android Took 23%

According to the IDC report, Apple continued to drive worldwide media tablet shipments in Q3 2011. The company shipped 11.1 million units in 3Q 2011, up from 9.3 million units in Q2 2011. That represents a 61.5% worldwide market share (down from 68.3% in Q2 2011).

HP both entered and exited the market in Q3 of 2011 with its $99 TouchPad product based on the Microsoft WebOS. The company shipped 903,354 units to grab a 5% share of the worldwide market, number three behind Samsung’s 5.6% market share (Android based). Barnes & Noble shipped 805,458 units of the Nook Color to achieve the number ¬†four spot with a 4.5% market share. ASUS rounded out the top five with a 4% share. As a result, the cumulative share of the Android-based devices slipped to 23% in Q3 2011.


Q4 2011:

Apple Suffered a Slip to 54.7%; Amazon’s Kindle Fire Heated Up the Game and Pushed¬† Up Android to the 25.9% Mark

In Q4 2012, IDC reported that Apple suffered a market share loss mostly because of Android’s gain and Apple took only 54.7% of the global tablet market share. The reason was the swift introduction and rising popularity of Kindle Fire, a cheap $199 tablet offered by Amazon that gained a 16.8% market share. Samsung grew its market share from 5.5% in Q3 to 5.8% in Q4. RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook saw its market share drop from 1.1% to 0.7%. WebOS, which controlled 5% of the market in Q3 2011 because of the HP TouchPad, dropped to zero % in Q4.

As a result, in Q4 2011 the cumulative share of the Android-based devices reached 25.9% which came at the expense of Blackberry, iOS, and webOS devices.


Q1 2012:

iPads Regained 68% of the Global Tablet Market

As IDC reported in another Press Release, Apple shipped 11.8 million iPads during Q1 2012 and grew its worldwide share to 68%, as opposed to 54.7% in the last quarter of 2011. Amazon’s Kindle Fire saw its share decline significantly in the first quarter to just over 4% from 16.8% in the previous quarter, falling to third place as a result. Samsung took advantage of Amazon’s weakness to regain the number two position.


Q2 2012:

Apple Tablet Devices Reached Nearly 70% of the Market Share

As reported by IDC and IHS iSuppli, Apple shipped 17 million iPads during Q2 2012 and covered 69.6% of the tablet market. Samsung experienced exceptional growth, and landed in second place with 9.2% share on 2.3 million tablet shipments. Amazon (Kindle Fire) and Asus took the third and fourth spots with 4.2% and 2.8% share, respectively.

Note: The shipments of the Google/ASUS co-branded Nexus 7 aren’t reflected in these totals, as that product officially began shipping into the channel in the third quarter of 2012.


Forecasts and Predictions on the Tablet Market for 2012-2016

See below the IDC global tablet forecast predicting that the dominance of iOS devices will lessen from 2012-2016 because of the popularity of Android-based devices:

IDC tablet market forecast 2012 2016

As you see, Android is not going to give up, and we’ll keep an eye on the tablet market for you. If you are an Android fan and want to be productive with your email flow, try out the EmailTray email app for Android. Apart from being a lightweight email app with a user-friendly interface, it provides an intelligent email prioritizing feature that lets you focus on important mail and eliminates information overload.

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