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New study serves as latest reminder that Android tablets are catching the iPad

by Doug Drinkwater

October 26 2012

Android tablets like the Kindle Fire are reeling in the iPad's market dominance
Android tablets like the Kindle Fire are reeling in the iPad's market dominance

Less than 24 hours after Apple itself revealed how iPad sales have stagnated, a report from Strategy Analytics shows that Tim Cook’s company is losing ground to the emergence of Android tablets.

The researcher’s Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies report found that global tablet shipments topped 25 million units in Q3, with Apple’s share slipping from 64% to 57% in the year as Android rose from 29% to 41% of all tablets.

And while the tablet market continued to rise, the research firm said that economic problems and speculation over new models (also cited by Apple as the reason for slow iPad sales), for the ‘sluggish’ market growth, said to the weakest growth rate since the modern tablet market began.

“Global tablet shipments reached 24.7 million units in Q3 2012, rising a sluggish 43% from 17.2 million in Q3 2011,” said Peter King, director of Strategy Analytics.

“Demand for tablets slowed due to on-going economic uncertainty and consumers holding off purchases in anticipation of multiple new models, like the iPad Mini, during the upcoming Q4 holiday season.

In terms of vendors, Apple remained the overall leader of the market, showing that Android’s rise is down to a collective group of vendors.

There was also a mention of Microsoft now having a 2% global tablet market share, although that is more likely to pick up in the holiday season now Windows 8 has been released.

This isn't the first time researchers have revealed that Android tablets are catching Apple's iOS. Earlier this month, Pew Research found that the growing popularity of Android tablets like the Kindle Fire was eating into the iPad's market share.

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