Android tablet share reaches 39 percent in fourth quarter 2011
The battle for tablet supremacy is no longer a one-horse race, as figures from research firm Strategy Analytics estimate that devices based on the Android™ operating system captured 39 percent of the market in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Strategy Analytics notes that demand for tablet computers has grown across the board, among consumers as well as the in enterprise and education sectors. In total, tablet shipments reached 26.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from 10.7 million a year earlier.
Apple's iPad® remained in the top spot, but Android demonstrated its ability to compete in the increasingly crowded market, shipping 10.5 million units during the quarter. In contrast, Apple® sold 15.4 million iPad units.
Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston states that the fragmentation of Android across devices may hinder the operating system's growth. Despite this obstacle, the software is proving more and more popular with manufacturers and among consumers.
Research firm Gartner anticipates more than 100 million tablet computers will ship in 2012. If Android can maintain its momentum throughout the year, it may open the tablet market to more competition.