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Three million Windows 8/RT tablets were shipped in the first quarter

Apple's iPad rules the roost
Thu Apr 25 2013, 14:08
Start screen on a Windows 8 tablet

TABLET UPSTART Microsoft managed to capture 7.5 percent of the global 'branded' tablet market in the first three months of the year.

The use of a tiled interface in Windows 8/RT was intended to make the operating system easier to use with touchscreen devices, and despite largely negative feedback Microsoft seems to have captured a piece of the tablet market.

According to research firm Strategy Analytics, devices running Windows 8/RT accounted for 7.5 percent of total shipped tablet market, or three million units, in the first three months of 2013.

Strategy Analytics' market figures result in a total of three million tablets sold, which in isolation might seem trivial but compared to devices running Apple's iOS and Android, it stacks up fairly well. The firm's figures put Apple's iPad range of tablets as the market leaders with 48.2 percent of the pie, shipping a total of 19.5m units, while branded devices running Google's Android mobile operating system accounted for 43.4 percent of the market, or 17.6m units.

Given that Apple's iPad range is seen as the established benchmark, Microsoft and its partners should perhaps not be too unhappy with the sales performance of tablets running Windows 8/RT. However Strategy Analytics' figures also serve to highlight just how much work Microsoft has to do both in terms of development work and marketing if it is to have any chance of taking serious market share away from devices running rival operating systems.

Strategy Analytics said that if so-called white box tablets were taken into account, Android tablets would account for 52 percent of the market and overtake Apple. Nevertheless what the firm's figures show is that Apple's range of iPads is either barely leading the market or already behind Android devices, despite having the iPad Mini competing with many 7in Android tablets.

For Microsoft the question this year is whether its Windows 8/RT tablets can steal market share from Android and iOS devices once those who need Windows tablets for business purposes make their purchases. µ


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