According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments reached 27 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011. Android jumped to a record 39 percent global share, while Apple iOS maintained its strong leadership at 58 percent.
Peter King, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, "Global tablet shipments reached an all-time high of 26.8 million units in Q4 2011, surging 150 percent from 10.7 million in Q4 2010. Demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users remains strong. Apple shipped a robust 15.4 million iPads worldwide and maintained its strong market leadership with 58 percent share during the fourth quarter of 2011. Apple shrugged off the much-hyped threat from entry-level Android models this quarter."
Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, "Android captured a record 39 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q4 2011, rising from 29 percent a year earlier. Global Android tablet shipments tripled annually to 10.5 million units. Dozens of Android models distributed across multiple countries by numerous brands such as Amazon, Samsung, Asus and others have been driving volumes. Android is so far proving relatively popular with tablet manufacturers despite nagging concerns about fragmentation of Android's operating system, user-interface and app store ecosystem."
Other findings from the research include:
- Global tablet shipments hit 66.9 million units in full-year 2011, surging 260 percent from 18.6 million in full-year 2010. Consumers are increasingly buying tablets in preference to netbooks and even entry-level notebooks or desktops;
- Microsoft captured a niche 1 percent global tablet share in Q4 2011. The upcoming release of Windows 8 this year cannot come quickly enough for Microsoft, so its hardware partners can start competing more effectively in the tablet space.