Windows 8 tablets may not be doing so bad after all

by Doug Drinkwater

April 25 2013

It was reported last month that Microsoft had sold around 1.5 million Surface Windows 8 tablets
It was reported last month that Microsoft had sold around 1.5 million Surface Windows 8 tablets

Stop writing that obituary for the Surface – a new study suggests that Windows 8 tablets from Microsoft and its partners may be doing rather better than expected.

Research firm Strategy Analytics has released a new report into the tablet market and while it paints a familiar scene at the top of the leaderboard – iPad leads with a 48% share, followed by an ever-growing Android with 43.4%– it also reveals how Windows 8 tablet shipments are on the rise.

The company says that 3 million Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets shipped in the first quarter of the year, and while it dinged these devices for limited distribution, a shortage of apps and some consumer confusion (presumably over the different versions of Windows 8), this figure still saw the OS take a 7.5% stake in the market. 

This number does however to "sell-in" units, meaning those tablets going into retail and resellers, but it does at least represent a significant increase from last year. After all, the same research company says that Windows 8/RT tablet shipments reached just 400,000 in Q3 2012.

(Note: Strategy Analytics did not offer a definition of a Windows 8 tablet in the report, which could be crucial considering devices like Lenovo's Yoga and HP's Envy x2 could be defined as convertible Ultrabooks.)

Back to the top of the tablet table and the researcher says that iPad shipments reached 19.5 million units in the first quarter (no split was given between iPad and iPad mini) with Android following closely behind with 17.6 million units.

When the research firm included white-box tablets for the study, it found that Android tablets accounted for 52% of all tablets, with iOS slipping down to 41%.

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