Did Android Tablet’s Gain on The iPad or Did The Market Grow?

on July 22, 2011
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Yesterday Strategy Analytics released some numbers showing the latest in the overall tablet shipments which included iPad and Android tablets. In that report Strategy Analytics reported”

  1. Apple sold 9.3 million iPads in the second quarter of this year, giving it a commanding 61% share of the market
  2. Android captured [a] 30% share of global tablet shipments in Q2 2011
  3. Motorola, Samsung, Acer and Asus – shipped 4.6 million tablets running on the Android operating system in the three months to the end of June.
  4. Microsoft managed to capture a 4.6% of the tablet market
  5. PlayBook tablet, shipping half a million units in Q2 to give it a 3.3% share.


Now there are several things we need to bear in mind when we look at these numbers. First is that these numbers are only for Q3 2011. So Strategy Analytics is saying that during the third quarter Android tablets sold 30% of the total tablet sales just in this quarter. Strategy Analytics is not saying that Android tablets have 30% of the total tablet market share to date.

Second Apple’s tablet sales are sell through (actual sales to consumers), meaning those are actual numbers of consumers walking around with iPads in their hands. The Android tablet sales are shipped in to retail sales which is not necessarily indicative of how many consumer actually purchased them, only how many retailers purchased into the sales channel.

Now to look at the actual current market share numbers of tablets. According to sales figures to date Apple sold just over 29 million iPads. Sifting through as much public data I could find i’ve come up with total Android sales to date of just over 9 million, again sell into channel not sold through to consumers. If that is correct then Android tablet market share of total sales into channel to date is just over 25%.

I am keeping a close eye on these numbers and the next two quarters will be very telling. Since the most accurate tablet forecasts for 2011 are in the 40-55 million range, the next two quarters look like they could be huge. I believe Apple will easily sell in the double digit million range of iPads in each of the next two quarters. The true sell through numbers of Android will be key and i’ll update my market share figures when we get them.

We must also remember that tablets are a growth category, this year they will have grown nearly 200%. Meaning that the overall size of the tablet pie is growing. In my opinion discussing market share is great but I’m not sure its entirely helpful until a market has reached its peak.