Apple took a 50 per cent share of global tablet shipments in the first quarter, but Android tablets will inevitably overtake iOS, according to ABI Research.
No single vendor is expected to challenge Apple’s dominance in the short term, however. Android tablet makers have focused on the 7-in segment rather than challenge Apple in the 10-in space, driving average selling prices and sizes downwards since last year. Android is benefiting from a push for sub-$200 tablets in developed and emerging markets alike.
A big variable for Android is China, writes ABI Research senior practice director Jeff Orr. Chinese consumers are passionate about the Apple brand and the ability of the mass market to afford technology devices. ABI Research estimates that the 7.9-in iPad mini accounted for 49 per cent of unit sales and 39 per cent of total iPad revenues in the first quarter, putting a dent in sales of larger iPads.Orr expects the iPad mini to be the predominant iPad model after the second quarter.