According to Strategy Analytics, Android tablets are beginning to do something that for months seemed impossible…pick up market share at the expense of the Apple iPad. At the end of the third quarter, Android tablets had accounted for 41.3% of all tablets shipped globally. That was up dramatically from the 29.2% slice of the tablet pie the platform held the prior year. In the meantime, the Apple iPad saw its global share decline from a whopping 64.5% in Q3 of 2011 to a more mortal 56.7 this year. And as if to accentuate the gains made by the green robot, Windows share dropped over the same time span from 2.3% to 1.6% while the others category slumped from 4.1% to a barely breathing .4%
Yes, it could be that Apple solved the problem by introducing the Apple iPad mini the other day, designed to stem the market share losses made to the low priced 7 inch Android tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Google Nexus 7. But priced at $329 compared to the $199 that those Android tablets command, has Apple really solved anything? Under attack by the low-priced tablets, the iPad is also about to see enemy fire from the 10 inch full-price tablets like the Samsung Nexus 10 and the Microsoft Surface RT. The former is rumored to have a 2560 X 1600 resolution screen that surpasses the Apple iPad in pixel density while the latter has a built in kickstand and optional QWERTY docks.
And who knows? After owning such a large share of the global tablet market, perhaps it was just time for the Apple iPad to lose some market share. After all, you can only get so big before the balloon bursts.