Android tablets skyrocketed in the fourth quarter, increasing their market share by nearly 1000%, even though they're based on a version of Android not even built for tablets. In doing so, they've taken market share away from the iPad. It's a clear sign that one day, Android tablets will outsell the iPad, in the same way that Android phones have overtaken the iPhone.
Bloomberg reports that according to market research firm Strategy Analytics Android tablets boosted its market share nearly ten times in the fourth quarter, and ate into iPad's share of the market.
Android devices captured 22 percent of global tablet shipments in the three months to Dec. 31, up from 2.3 percent in the preceding quarter, the Boston-based researcher said in a statement today. The iPad accounted for 75 percent of shipments in the period, down from 96 percent, it said.
This happened even though the current version of Android is not quite tablet-ready. Some apps, for example, can't run in full tablet size. The fact that people are buying Android tablets insuch large numbers shows there's a tremendous pent-up demand for them. Once Android 3.0, Honeycomb, hits, expect sales to spike even further.
In the long run, it's inevitable that Android tablet sales will overtake those of the iPad. The iPad is essentially a one-size-fits-all device. Android tablets, by way of contrast, will come in many sizes, shapes, form factors, and price points. They'll be aimed at many different markets. Buyers will have more choices with Android tablets than when faced with the iPad. And ultimately, choice will win.
These most recent sales figures are only the first small sign of that. Once Honeycomb arrives, and with it a plethora of tablets, Android tablet sales will really start taking off.