The fourth quarter of 2011 saw tablet shipments worldwide reach its apex at 26.8 million, a 150 percent increase from just one year prior. Perhaps no single entity was the greater beneficiary of the continued shift towards tablet computing than was Google. Android-based slates jumped from a 29 percent share of the market in 2010 to a 39.1 percent share for Q4 2012, accounting for 10.5 million of all tablets sold. The numbers represent the great diversity of tablet computers now available, but there is still only one king in this castle. While the iPad saw a decline of roughly 10 percent, sales of the Apple device still took an overwhelming majority of the market with 57.6 percent. Total sales for the iPad in Q4 amounted to 15.4 million.

Of course most of Android’s sales are coming from small, inexpensive tablets in the $200 range, comparing favorably to Apple’s cheapest iPad at $500. The Kindle Fire and Nook Color/Nook Tablet are the reigning kings of thrify Android tablets in the US, with options from smaller Chinese manufacturers making up a big chunk worldwide. Almost all of these tablets run Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Now that the more tablet-friendly Ice Cream Sandwich is available as an open source OS, we’re seeing more and more low-cost tablets launch with an interface to take advantage of the larger screen size. Forthcoming models like the Asus MeMO 370T (as seen from the  above pic), which packs a 720p display, quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and Ice Cream Sandwich into a 7-inch body and a $250 retail price, give hope that 2012 can see Android’s potential combine both low cost and high functionality across all price points.



While increased awareness and marketing as well as quality contributed to Android’s growth, the number of new Android tablets introduced last year made an increase in market share for Google’s OS inevitable. We’ve seen the trend before with Android smartphones as they played catch up with the iPhone and eventually surpassed the device to hold the worldwide market. Will we see the same for tablets? Only time will tell and even If and that’s also a ” BIG IF ” Android can’t overtake the iPad, there should at least come a time when it can match Apple’s sales blow-for-blow and as I like to say….an eye for an eye and an Android for an Apple !!!

Source: Android Community