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Android Topples iPad

By Oonagh Reidy | Thursday | 31/10/2013

Google tops tablet OS in Q3, as Samsung, Asus rise

Finally, Android tablets triumph iOS in third quarter, says analysts IHS - thanks to Samsung's "vigorous" tab attack, as well as growth from Asus and Lenovo. 

Apple's share of tablet declined almost 13% year on year, as Androids tablet invasion continues. 

iPad experienced "tepid" growth in q3, as its share of the tab market fell below 30% - from 33.5% share in Q2, blamed on lack of a second-quarter iPad release.  

Read: Telstra Bets on iPad Air

No. 2 Samsung is steadily catching up to Apple - increasing marketshare  23% last quarter - shipping over 10.6 million tabs - up almost 25% on Q2. Samsung 'vigorously' boosted tablet shipments during the last 12 months, note IHS. 

Similar to its smartphone strategy, the Galaxy Tab maker has expanded its tablet lineup over the past year, with an array of offerings geared to hit a variety of price points.

"Cheaper almost always wins the volume race, and competitors were quick to adjust pricing when it became clear that it was impossible to achieve anything close to Apple's unit growth", said Rhoda Alexander, IHS tablet research analyst.

"The resulting surge in sub-$250 alternatives catapulted Android to the leading operating system in tablets in the third quarter of 2012."

Asus, Lenovo also in the top 5 vendors enjoyed enormous growth - up 87% and 95% respectively. 

However, vendors are searching for profit in an increasingly competitive tab market.

"The erosion in Apple's unit shipment market share was inevitable," said Alexander. 

But its not over for iPad, yet. 

"In an increasingly bifurcated tablet market, Apple has yet to experience any serious competition for the premier customer", said Alexander. 

Recent financials from Apple, show profit fell to $7.5 million as margins tighten on lower priced products including iPad mini, although sales of the latter increased. 

However, IHS also warn about dodgy sub $100 cheapie 7" Android tablet from China based vendors that have "higher return and failure rates". 

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