Global tablet shipments grew to 26.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011. This is an all time-high and a 150% increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2010 (10.7 million units). According to Strategy Analytics, Apple iOS remains strong at 58% (15.4 million iPads). However, Android now accounts for 39% of tablets sold (29% a year earlier). Strategy Analytics expects demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users to remain strong.
Global Android tablet shipments tripled annually to 10.5 million units. Dozens of Android models distributed across multiple countries by numerous brands (such as Amazon, Samsung, and Asus) have been driving volumes. Android is so far proving relatively popular with tablet manufacturers despite concerns about fragmentation of Android’s operating system, user-interface and app store ecosystem.
Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q4 2011 1
|Global Tablet OS Shipments (Millions of Units)||Q4 ’10||Q4 ’11|
|Global Tablet OS Marketshare %||Q4 ’10||Q4 ’11|
1 Shipments refer to sell-in. Numbers are rounded. The definition of tablet does not include e-book readers.
Strategy Analytics Tablet and Touchscreen Research Findings
- Global tablet shipments hit 66.9 million units in full-year 2011 (260% from 18.6 million in full-year 2010)
- Global Android tablet shipments tripled annually to 10.5 million units
- Global tablet shipments reached 26.8 million units in Q4 2011 (150% from 10.7 million in Q4 2010)
- Android jumped to a record 39% global share in Q4 2011 (rising from 29% a year earlier)
- Apple iOS maintained its strong leadership at 58% in Q4 2011
- Microsoft captured a niche 1% global tablet share in Q4 2011
- The upcoming release of Windows 8 this year cannot come quickly enough for Microsoft, so its hardware partners can start competing more effectively in the tablet space
- Consumers are increasingly buying tablets in preference to netbooks and even entry-level notebooks or desktops