Many thought they would never see the day when Google’s new open source operating system, Android, would overthrow Apple in mobile OS market share. Low and behold that’s been done, and several times over.
Now with a fresh “New iPad” less than 3 days away it’s hard to imagine Android overthrowing Apple in the tablet market. Well IDC analyst Tom Mainelli thinks it will happen in 2015.
“As the sole vendor shipping iOS products, Apple will remain dominant in terms of worldwide vendor unit shipments,” Mainelli said Tuesday. “However, the sheer number of vendors shipping low-priced, Android-based tablets means that Google’s OS will overtake Apple’s in terms of worldwide market share by 2015. We expect iOS to remain the revenue market share leader through the end of our 2016 forecast period and beyond.”
More after the break
While the verdict is still out, Amazon’s Kindle Fire seems to be one of the most successful Android powered tablets to date. Amazon reportedly shipped 4.7 million Kindle Fires in the fourth quarter of 2011. That was good enough for 16.8% of the global tablet market share. It was also good enough for second place behind the iPad.
Overall shipments of the Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble’s Book Tablet, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab line, coupled with record breaking iPad sales fueled the tablet market to a 155% increase over the same quarter in 2010.
“Amazon’s widely-reported entry into the media tablet market with a $199, 7-inch product seemed to raise consumers’ awareness of the category worldwide despite the fact that the Fire shipped almost exclusively in the U.S. in the fourth quarter,” he said. “As a result, products across the pricing spectrum sold well, including everything from Apple’s premium-priced iPads (which start at $499) to Pandigital’s line of Android-based, entry-level tablets (which start at $120).”
Android tablets have begin to sell with quad-core processors. Despite having a quad-core GPU, the New iPad’s A5x processor itself is not quad-core. In addition, Amazon is reportedly working on a larger version of the Kindle Fire, while Barnes & Noble released another Book Tablet with a smaller hard drive to compete with the Kindle Fire.
As a result of all of this, IDC has raised their 2012 tablet forecast from 87.7 million to 106.6 million.