Shruti DhapolaMar 04, 2014 15:40:53 IST
A new report by Gartner on global tablet sales has underscored the Android's dominance in the space, but in good news for Apple, has named the company as the top vendor. Worldwide sales of tablets to reached 195.4 million units in 2013 which was a 68 percent increase on 2012 sales numbers, Gartner said. According to the report, Android captured 62 percent of the tablet market.
"In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications," said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner. "As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditised, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value — beyond just hardware and cost — to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins."
The report adds that sales of iOS tablets grew in the fourth quarter of 2013 but iOS's overall share declined to 36 percent in 2013. The tablet growth in 2013 was fueled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first time buyers, which has boosted Android to the No 1 spot, with 62 percent of the market.
In 2013, the share of Apple's iOS dropped 16.8 percentage points as the market demand was driven by the improved quality of smaller low-cost tablets from branded vendors. Gartner analysts said emerging markets recorded growth of 145 percent in 2013, while mature markets grew 31 percent. "Apple's tablets remain strong in the higher end of the market and, Apple's approach will continue to force vendors to compete with full ecosystem offerings, even in the smaller-screen market as the iPad mini sees a greater share”, added Cozza.
However, thanks to Apple's strong fourth quarter, it maintained the top position in the market in 2013 as far as individual vendors are concerned. Samsung is the number two vendor when it comes tablets and exhibited the highest growth of the worldwide tablet vendors, at 336 percent, in 2013. But Samsung's overall market share stood at 19 percent and thus the gap between Samsung and Apple is still quite wide.
Microsoft's tablet volumes improved but share remained small in 2013. The company's ecosystem still failed to capture major consumers' interest on tablets, notes the report. "To compete, Microsoft needs to create compelling ecosystem proposition for consumers and developers across all mobile devices, as tablets and smartphones become key devices for delivering applications and services to users beyond the PC," said Cozza.
Other vendors that stood out include Lenovo which got saw sales growing at 198 percent. However it's market share was 3 percent. Asus was at number three with 5.6 percent market and Amazon at Number 4 with 4.8 percent market share.