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Android dominates tablet sales while iPad stumbles

Google Nexus 7 tablet
Google's new Nexus 7 tablet, unveiled last week. Matt Nighswander

Android tablets have officially solidified their status as the best-selling slates in the world, says a new report by Strategy Analytics. According to the market research group, approximately 34.6 million Android tablets were shipped in the second quarter of 2013. That’s up from 18.5 million shipped in Q2 2012. Apple, on the other hand, shipped 14.6 million units in the second quarter of 2013, down from 17 million in the same quarter last year.

Overall, Android now owns an impressive 67 percent of the global tablet market, an increase from 47.2 percent in the second quarter of 2012. Apple’s market share took a nosedive, falling from 47.2 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to 28.3 percent in the second quarter of 2013.

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Of course, there is a fundamental difference between Android and Apple tablets in that there are several manufacturers that produce Android devices, such as Acer, Amazon, ASUS, Samsung, Google and others.

Tablet iOS chart

As Strategy Analytics points out, the second quarter of 2012 also saw the launch of the iPad with Retina Display, which could explain why Apple’s shipments were higher last year than this year.

Microsoft, which launched its Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets in October and February, respectively, made a slight dent in the tablet market by moving 2.3 million units, bringing Redmond’s total tablet market share to 4.5 percent. Microsoft’s share may increase further, albeit for a brief period, due to the company’s decision to slash prices on its Surface RT.