Tablet shipments near 25 million in second quarter, report says
Year-over-year tablet shipments climbed once again in the second quarter of 2012, but at 24.9 million units sold, the quarter represents the industry's slowest growth since 2010, according to a report from Strategy Analytics.
Overall, tablet computer shipments grew 67 percent compared to a year earlier, with Apple® and its iPad® once again leading the way with 68 percent global market share. Android™ held steady for the quarter, capturing 29 percent of the market while increasing shipments to 7.3 million units.
Strategy Analytics notes that Microsoft® remains a niche player in the tablet market, holding on to a little more than 1 percent market share in the second quarter. However, this may change in the near future, as the software giant readies the launch of its tablet-friendly Windows® 8 operating system.
Windows 8 could represent a significant shift in the tablet market. Though Apple has led the space for more than two years, some experts predict Microsoft could shake things up, particularly among enterprise users already familiar with Microsoft's platforms and who could potentially benefit from using them across devices.
The operating system also represents a significant shift for Microsoft itself, which has struggled to establish itself in the mobile space for years. For example, in 2011 Microsoft announced a partnership with cell phone giant Nokia in an effort to boost both companies' standings in the growing smartphone market. However, the partnership has since failed to materialize any real success, leading many to question whether this new generation of mobile devices will usher in a regime change in the IT industry.
If Windows 8 is successful, though, Microsoft may be able to quiet its critics and reinforce its position as one of the top players in the industry for years to come.