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Android’s share of global tablet shipments jumped to 39% during Q4 2011, up from 29% during Q4 2010, according to new research from Strategy Analytics. The research also found that Apple iOS maintained its leadership with 58% during Q4 2011, though this is down from a 68% global share during the same quarter a year ago.
“Dozens of Android models distributed across multiple countries by numerous brands such as Amazon, Samsung, Asus and others have been driving volumes,” said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. “Android is so far proving relatively popular with tablet manufacturers despite nagging concerns about fragmentation of Android’s operating system, user-interface and app store ecosystem.”
“Apple shrugged off the much-hyped threat from entry-level Android models this quarter,” said Peter King, director at Strategy Analytics. “Apple shipped a robust 15.4 million iPads worldwide and maintained its strong market leadership with 58 percent share during the fourth quarter of 2011.”
In all, global tablet shipments reached 26.8 million units in Q4 2011, an increase of 150% from 10.7 million in Q4 2010, according to the research firm.
The firm also reported that global tablet shipments hit 66.9 million units in the year 2011, surging 260% from 18.6 million in 2010. “Consumers are increasingly buying tablets in preference to netbooks and even entry-level notebooks or desktops,” Strategy Analytics reported.
According to the findings, Microsoft captured a niche one percent global tablet share in Q4 2011. The firm said: “The upcoming release of Windows 8 this year cannot come quickly enough for Microsoft, so its hardware partners can start competing more effectively in the tablet space.”
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