GADGET DESIGNER Apple's iPad tablet lost sales to Android tablets last year, with tablets running Google's mobile operating system taking 62 percent of the market.
According to research Gartner released on Monday, Apple lost its grip on the tablet market, with the firm's iPad sales having fallen 16.8 percentage points last year. This saw Apple's share of the tablet market drop to 36 percent from 52.8 percent the previous year.
This was thanks to the growing number of affordable Android tablets, and despite Apple trying to compete with the iPad Mini, people seemingly are flocking to cheaper tablets running Google's mobile operating system. Because of this, Android market share has grown to 61.9 percent, up from 45.8 percent in 2012.
Gartner research director Robert Cozza said, "In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications.
"As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditised in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value - beyond just hardware and cost - to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins.
"Apple's tablets remain strong in the higher end of the market and, Apple's approach will continue to force vendors to compete with full ecosystem offerings, even in the smaller-screen market as the iPad mini sees a greater share"
While Apple's grip is loosening, it could be worse, as Gartner's statistics on Microsoft tablet sales have shown. In 12 months, Microsoft has grown its share of the tablet market from one percent to just 2.1 percent, with the analyst outfit saying that Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system is still struggling to win over consumers.
"To compete, Microsoft needs to create compelling ecosystem proposition for consumers and developers across all mobile devices, as tablets and smartphones become key devices for delivering applications and services to users beyond the PC," Cozza said.
However, Apple - or perhaps it's really Foxconn - still leads the tablet manufacturers with 36 percent market share. Samsung, Asus, Amazon and Lenovo fill the rest of the top five OEMs list, with 19.1, 5.6, 4.8 and 3.3 percent shares, respectively. µ