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Android Tablets Outselling iPads in 2013

By - Source: IDC | B 18 comments

The 7-inch Android tablet market is consuming Apples. Munch munch.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) said on Tuesday that it has adjusted its worldwide tablet market forecast for 2013, increasing the number of units sold from 172.4 million to 190.9 million. By 2017, shipments to be upwards of 350 million units.

The big news stemming from the updated forecast is that Android's share of the 2013 tablet market will be 48.8-percent, slightly higher than Apple's 46-percent. Adding insult to injury, Android's tablet market share will actually decrease to 46-percent by 2017 whereas Apple's iOS will only control 43.5-percent.

Windows will see a market share increase over the next four years, controlling only 2.8-percent of the tablet market in 2013 and 7.4-percent in 2017. The ARM-based version, Windows RT, will only control 1.9-percent in 2013 and 2.7-percent in 2017. Windows shipments include Windows 8 and Windows 7 tablets, the firm stated.

"One in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size. And in terms of shipments, we expect smaller tablets to continue growing in 2013 and beyond" said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst for IDC's Tablet Tracker. "Vendors are moving quickly to compete in this space as consumers realize that these small devices are often more ideal than larger tablets for their daily consumption habits."

As an owner of both Nexus tablets, that comment hits the nail right on the head. The bulky 10-inch model may sport a larger screen and higher resolution, but the 7-inch Tegra 3-based model from Asus feels more stable and is easier to hold when reading The Walking Dead comics or surfing the Internet. The 10-inch Samsung model is better suited for stationary tasks like watching Netflix while using a tablet cover with a built-in kickstand.

Meanwhile, Apple is struggling to remain relevant by offering an 8.9-inch version of its iPad, the iPad Mini. What Apple has seemingly failed to realize is that consumers are gravitating to the $199 price range. Still, even the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch tablet with 32 GB of storage (and without offers) retails for $384 USD whereas the 32 GB iPad Mini costs $429 USD.

As for Microsoft, both Windows 8 and Windows RT are reportedly experiencing poor sales. Even Microsoft's attempt to win consumers over with branded solutions has failed to gain any traction. "Consumers aren't buying Windows RT's value proposition, and long term we think Microsoft and its partners would be better served by focusing their attention on improving Windows 8. Such a focus could drive better share growth in the tablet category down the road," added Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets.

The report also states that the emergence of the 7-inch tablet form factor has damaged the prospects of the single-use eReader. Shipments peaked in 2011 at 26.4 million units, and then began its market descent with 18.2 million units in 2012. IDC reports that the eReader sector will see a modest growth in 2013 and 2014 before beginning a gradual and permanent decline in 2015.

So long, and thanks for all the fish, dear faithful eReader.

 

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  • 13 Hide
    house70 , March 13, 2013 4:27 AM
    iOS is cluncky, outdated and boring. People want more customizability, so they go with whatever offers them that.
    Windows solutions are still a tad too expensive, even though they are more customizable than iOS.
    As far as the eReaders go, they still offer unprecedented battery life due to their e-ink screens (also, excellent readability in bright environments, like a real book). I still use one of these. Can't make myself use a tablet for prolonged reading.
  • 10 Hide
    kartu , March 13, 2013 6:05 AM
    Just had to test stuff on iPad (not sure the number). Compared to Galaxy Tab 10.1:
    It looks like having a much smaller screen.
    Has gazillion of hardware buttons.
    Is heavy.
    Is hard to hold in hands.

    And this thingy is seriously expected to hold 43% by 2017? I oh so doubt it.
    Most likely it will follow the fate of the iPhone, settling at about 15% of the market.

    classzeroDoes this mean Android users get the sheep title?

    Just buying a popular product doesn't make you a sheep.
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    house70 , March 13, 2013 4:27 AM
    iOS is cluncky, outdated and boring. People want more customizability, so they go with whatever offers them that.
    Windows solutions are still a tad too expensive, even though they are more customizable than iOS.
    As far as the eReaders go, they still offer unprecedented battery life due to their e-ink screens (also, excellent readability in bright environments, like a real book). I still use one of these. Can't make myself use a tablet for prolonged reading.
  • 9 Hide
    neblogai , March 13, 2013 4:36 AM
    There is no way Apple will keep such a large market share into the 2017. The article fails to take into account Chinese tablets- which will take over the market.
    I have recently bought a Sumvision Voyager 7' tablet for my sisters kids. It costs 80 pounds, which is less than a hundred dollars- and it does almost everything a tablet needs to do. It lacks only high screen resolution (but 480x800 is ok for everything except text), Bluetooth, and GPS, but has a SD-card slot and HDMI-out, which many expensive tablets lack. I also bought a case with a keyboard ($8) to put it in- which makes it a nettop pc when needed. So, now it is basically a small tablet-nettop for a $100. It is much cheaper than laptops, much cheaper than branded tablets- and it is a computing device that billions living in third world countries can finally afford. Being an android, it is easy to use, and has lots of free software as well. Devices like these will blow away most tablet manufacturers. My prediction is, in about 5 years only content providers (Kindle, Google Nexus, Apple) will stay in the market, with a total market share of one third, at best. The rest- is for the masses.
  • -3 Hide
    dgingeri , March 13, 2013 4:59 AM
    Quote:
    Windows will see a market share increase over the next four years, controlling only 2.8-percent of the tablet market in 2013 and 7.4-percent in 2017. The ARM-based version, Windows RT, will only control 1.9-percent in 2013 and 2.7-percent in 2017.


    I think they underestimate WinRT. I picked up a Dell XPS 10, and I like it. It acts just like Win8, for the most part, and that makes it easier to work with. People complaining about the app restrictions apparently don't realize that both Android and Apple have that same restriction. Many Windows apps can easily be adapted to WinRT, so I don't think there will be issues with apps. I'm betting they'll have a bigger share of the market than these analysts think.
  • 10 Hide
    kartu , March 13, 2013 6:05 AM
    Just had to test stuff on iPad (not sure the number). Compared to Galaxy Tab 10.1:
    It looks like having a much smaller screen.
    Has gazillion of hardware buttons.
    Is heavy.
    Is hard to hold in hands.

    And this thingy is seriously expected to hold 43% by 2017? I oh so doubt it.
    Most likely it will follow the fate of the iPhone, settling at about 15% of the market.

    classzeroDoes this mean Android users get the sheep title?

    Just buying a popular product doesn't make you a sheep.
  • 0 Hide
    jtenorj , March 13, 2013 6:18 AM
    I found a few errors/omissions in this article. First, the iPad Mini is not 8.9 inches, it's like 7.85 inches. Second, why no mention of the 8.9inch B&N tablet with full HD and a micro sd slot? That can be easily upraded to the latest version of android by simply inserting a micro sd card with the latest version of Cyanogen Mod. The best part is that you can get the cheapest version of the 8.9 inch B&N tablet for only 300 bucks, which is even less than the cheapest iPad Mini.
  • 7 Hide
    yhatz17 , March 13, 2013 6:56 AM
    off course, people would realize that they are wasting money on a thousand dollar facebook machine :) 
  • 5 Hide
    Eric Labelle , March 13, 2013 7:06 AM
    I have a Nexus 7 , and two Asus Primes at home. The primes never leave the house but the kids love them at home. I love my Nexus 7 on the road and when I travel. Way less bulky and I teather to my phone on the go. It all comes down to what you do with it. Most games play better on the 7" but video is better on a 10" if you don't have to hold it. I love the keyboard on the Asus prime aswell when working on documents.
  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , March 13, 2013 8:09 AM
    pacomacAs for the cheaper 7" and 8" tablets, people will realise that you get what you pay for and a bigger screen is better.

    Personally, 7" is perfect:
    1- it barely fits in my pockets, which makes it the largest screen I can carry without encumbering myself
    2- it is light enough to hold for extended periods
    3- it is small enough for holding in public transit and also makes it a little more discrete (I personally prefer drawing the least attention possible when in public)
    4- it is more than large enough to display GPS instructions
    5- it is large enough to read or watch video in bed and light enough to hold that long

    If I want a much bigger screen, I would need something that can stand on its own... but then it would not be suitable for most things I use my N7 for... too large to carry in pockets, too heavy to hold when no surface to set it on is available, draws more unwanted attention, too large/heavy for most phone/GPS holders to hold and while a bigger screen may be better for reading or watching video, having to set it on something for watching/reading more than a few minutes at a time would make it more annoying than convenient - if I am going to have to sit in bed to read/watch something, might as well walk to the computer.

    So for me, a 8-12" tablet does not appear to be worth the trouble... and since 7" models are outselling larger models, I am most likely not alone.
  • 5 Hide
    willard , March 13, 2013 9:03 AM
    Been saying exactly this would happen for years. Apple got big because it was the only game in town, not because their product was perfect like the fanboys would have you believe.

    Sometimes I wish Steve Jobs were still alive so he could see how astonishingly wrong his comment on 7" tablets were. But then I remember all the unethical things Apple did with Jobs at the helm, and how Tim Cook put an end to almost all of it in his first year as CEO.

    I could care less about how well Apple is doing with Cook as CEO. It's about goddamn time somebody held them accountable, because Jobs and the fanboys sure as hell weren't.
  • 0 Hide
    dgingeri , March 13, 2013 9:55 AM
    yhatz17off course, people would realize that they are wasting money on a thousand dollar facebook machine

    not so. I wasted $600 on a color ebook reader and portable video game. :)  (Galaxy Tab 10.1)

    Then, I wasted $700 on a portable office machine, ebook reader, video and music player, and video game machine. (Dell XPS 10 with keyboard dock.) Well, I would consider this one less of a waste. I actually have a decent use level on it.
  • 0 Hide
    del35 , March 13, 2013 10:43 AM
    Ummmm, you can only keep people in the dark for so long. iCrap jail-u-philosophy can only go so far. I was faced with a dilemma this year. I was giving a gift and was faced with deciding with whether to give a android tablet or an iPad. I could not see a person of my technological intelligence choosing an Apple product, but realized that the ill informed masses sit well with Apple and its shiny products even if they are mediocre... To make a long story short, I eventually choose and Android tablet and explained to the person I was giving it to that he could return it for an iPad. But, once he learned to use the Android tablet, he said he was perfectly happy with it.... Now he has planned to ditch his iPhone and is thinking of getting the Samsung Galaxy SIII. I told him to wait for the release of the SG S4. Yeah, people are waking up out there!

  • 0 Hide
    mynith , March 13, 2013 12:46 PM
    I wonder what a tablet running KDE would be like.
  • 1 Hide
    Vladislaus , March 13, 2013 2:00 PM
    pacomacIf Apple manage to hold onto nearly 50% of tablet sales in comparison to ALL other Android tablet manufacturers put together that will be pretty amazing in itself.As for the cheaper 7" and 8" tablets, people will realise that you get what you pay for and a bigger screen is better. Personally I'd like to see Apple release a 12" display... I'd buy it!I purchased both the Nexus 7 (which is now only used as a glorified GPS device) and an iPad Mini (which is better, but still too small). If you need a 7" tablet just get a phablet!

    Actually a 7 inch tablet makes more sense than a 10 inch. A 7 inch tablet can fit in many jackets pockets, while a 10 inch must be carried on a bag. A 7 inch tablet is lighter than a 10 inch, making it more comfortable (the iPad weights 652g, the nexus 7 for example weights almost half, 340g).

    A 12 inch tablet would be too big and too heavy to be usable. I know that if Apple makes one, it will be a hit, because a lot of people only care about having the latest gadget from the fruity company, whether if it's usable or not.
  • 0 Hide
    Schmalgar , March 13, 2013 2:13 PM
    What will Apple patent now to stifle the competition? The use of LCD displays to see things? The use of speakers to hear things? Surely those are Apple innovations, much like white rectangles.
  • 0 Hide
    willard , March 13, 2013 10:51 PM
    Quote:
    I wonder what a tablet running KDE would be like.


    I don't even want that crap on my computer, much less my tablet. So many better options.
  • 0 Hide
    tobalaz , March 14, 2013 9:30 PM
    I'll be honest.
    I LOVED my 10" Android tablet and used it for everything. I thought 7" tablets would be too small to really see the screen, surf the web or check my mail.
    Then something happened.
    My cousin got a pair of 7" tablets for his kids (4 and 5 years of age) for Christmas and asked me to do the hack and flash bit for him.
    I did, and in the process, I REALLY liked the 7" tablet.
    Yes, the screen was smaller, but it ran most things just as fast as my 10" tablet, the reduced weight didn't kill my wrist after an hour of reading, and movies, books and comics worked just as well on that smaller screen. I even found out its easier for me to read with a tablet because I can invert a page for black background and white lettering which really makes the letters seem to jump out for me. The app icons and system settings I thought would be too small were still large enough to not impose any added difficulty on me.
    I ran out a month later and bought one.
    Really, I just wanted something to casually surf the net, check my mail and read on, and to be able to for under $100 is a steal (with a 1.2 ghz cpu and a gig of ddr2).
    My 10" tablet now sits in its dock hooked to the tv being used as a media center and retro gaming station (NES, SNES, SMS, SGEN, TG16) when I'm not tinkering and flashing new roms.
    7" tablets are perfect size/ weight/ performance for most people, myself included.
    I honestly don't care if Apple ever enters into the 7" realm, you just can't beat Android's price performance ratio at this size. I'm sticking with what I've got.