Android has maintained its lead in the tablet market for the third quarter in a row. According to statistics released by research firm IDC, Android accounted for 56.6 percent of the tablet market in the first quarter of 2013. What’s more, there were more Android tablets shipped in the same quarter than all the others combined. Android has remained the top tablet operating system since Q3 2012, when a load of low and mid-end tablets were launched by manufacturers across the world.
There has been tremendous growth in the tablet market. IDC also states that Q1 2013 saw a total of 49.2 million tablets being shipped, a growth of 142 percent over Q1 2012’s 20.3 million shipments. 27.8 million Android tablets were also shipped in Q1 2013, a tremendous growth of 247.5 percent as compared to the 8 million units shipped in Q1 2012.
Yeah, Windows had 700 percent growth
iOS tablets trailed far behind with only 19.5 million units sold—a growth of 65.3 percent as compared to Q1 2012’s 11.8 million shipments. Devices running Windows and Windows RT shipped a combined 1.8 million units, but saw a growth of 700 percent as Q1 2012 witnessed only 0.2 million units shipped.
Now, this raises a very important question: Why are Android's tablet apps still so average in spite of it leading the tablet market for such a long time? It’s a fairly established fact that most apps available for Android tablets are either poor in quality or have UIs customised for the smaller screens of smartphones. But what does tablet market share have to do with the quality of apps, you ask? Well, you only have to look at apps available for the iPad to notice the difference. Although Google released guidelines and rule sets for developing and optimising apps for tablets quite a long time ago, most developers simply never took the effort to optimise their apps because it was assumed there just weren’t so many Android slates around.
However, with more than half the tablets shipped in the last three quarters running Android, people can no longer choose to ignore the Android tablet user base. Developers took notice when Android stole the smartphone market, and we hope they do so again and improve the tablet experience.
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