ANDROID TABLETS are closing in on Apple's Ipad, having taken 20 per cent market share in the last 12 months, ABI figures reveal.
According to the analyst firm, worldwide annual tablet shipments are expected to top 120 million units in 2015.
But although Android tablets have stolen market share away from the Ipad in the last 12 months, ABI said no single vendor using Android or any other operating system (OS) has been able to "mount a significant challenge against it" just yet.
ABI Research mobile devices group director Jeff Orrsaid, "Many vendors have introduced media tablets, but none are separating themselves from the pack to pose a serious threat to Apple. In fact, most have introduced products at prices higher than similarly-configured iPads. Apple, never a company to be waiting for others, has introduced its second-generation iPad media tablet while keeping product pricing unchanged."
ABI said that fragmentation of operating system software is hindering growth of the tablet category. As a result, it said, application developers must choose an initial software platform and might delay starting development "if the market potential is not significant".
The Android OS has no less than three different software builds deployed across media tablets at the same time.
Orr added, "De-featured, low-cost media tablets are being introduced by more than fifty vendors in 2011. This will certainly help bolster year-over-year growth for the category, but it also creates a negative perception in the minds of the mass consumer audience about the readiness of media tablets to be fully functional within the next several years. Good user experiences and product response are needed to propel this market beyond the 'early adopter' stage." µ