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By 30 July 2013 | Categories: news

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According to the latest research from data analytics company Strategy Analytics (SA), global tablet shipments reached 51.7 million units during Q2 2013.

Google’s Android mobile operating system (OS) managed to secure a robust 67% global share, whilst Apple’s iOS tablet platform share headed downwards to 28%. Microsoft’s Windows 8/RT tablet share also pressed the down button on the tablet OS share elevator, decreasing to a 4.5% global share.

SA revealed that global branded tablet shipments reached 36.2 million units in Q2 2013, representing an increase of 47% from 24.6 million within Q2 2012. The company added that the market underwent a rest period over the course of the previous quarter since very few new products were released during Q2.  

Peter King, director of Tablets at SA said: “Apple iOS shipments were 14.6 million iPads in Q2 2013 which declined 14 percent annually. In the same quarter a year ago the first Retina display iPads were launched which could partly explain the decline as there were no new models in this quarter. However, to compensate that, iPad Mini which was not available a year ago, now freely available was expected to take the figure higher than 14.6 million.”  

White-box shipments unphased by branded tablet price drop

The number of tablets shipped within Q2 increase to 51.7 million when white-box tablets gets factored in as well, which is an increase of 43% from the 36.1 million tally during Q2 2012.  White-box tablets are generic, non-branded, cheaper mobile devices that have been made to order by an ODM (original device manufacturer) and then sold to an OEM (original equipment manufacturer). The OEM then rebrands the tablet for sale under its own brand.

SA said that Google is now making steady progress with Android on tablets, as a result of hardware partners the likes of Samsung, Amazon, Asus and white-box tablet makers. Despite branded tablets becoming more affordable, white-box manufacturers are still performing well, according to the market research firm.

Redmond still ready to rumble via RT

Microsoft captured a niche 4.5% global tablet share in Q2 2013, but SA asserts that there may be an uptake in Windows RT shipments during Q3 2013. This will be as a result of significant price cuts by all of Microsoft’s OEM partners that are still manufacturing RT-based devices.

The Redmond-based company has reduced the prices of its own Surface tablets by $150 and other vendors dropped their prices by even more, according to SA. These mobile devices are still not cheap, but will be able to compete more effectively against Android and iOS rivals thanks to more affordable pricetags.

One of the main hurdles still hampering the sale of Windows-based tablets is the tremendous shortage of must-have apps, coupled with the seemingly minor incentive for developers to create applications for this platform.

In related news, ABI Research recently revealed that global smartphone shipments represents more than half (52%) of all mobile phone shipments for the second quarter in a row.

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