According to the latest research from our Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies (TTS) service, global tablet shipments reached 25 million units in the second quarter of 2012. Apple rose to 68 percent global market share, its highest level for almost two years. Microsoft tablets remain niche, but attention is turning to the upcoming Windows 8 launches.

Global tablet shipments reached 24.9 million units in Q2 2012, jumping 67 percent from 14.9 million in Q2 2011. Demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users remains relatively healthy. Apple shipped a robust 17.0 million iPads worldwide and maintained its strong market leadership with 68 percent share during the second quarter of 2012. Apple continued to shrug off the much-hyped threat from Android and the iPad’s global tablet share is at its highest level since Q3 2010.

Android captured 29 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q2 2012, remaining static from 29 percent a year earlier. Global Android tablet shipments grew by more than half to 7.3 million units. Despite high expectations for companies like Amazon, Samsung, Acer and Asus, the Android community has yet to make a serious dent in Apple’s dominance of the tablet market. Unspectacular hardware designs, limited uptake of cellular models and a modest number of tablet-optimized services have been among some of the main reasons for Android’s mixed performance so far.

Other findings from the research include:

  • Global tablet shipments grew 67 percent annually in Q2 2012. Demand remained relatively healthy, although this was the industry’s slowest growth rate since the finger-driven tablet market began in Q2 2010, as shipments of some Android and Apple products moderated slightly in a volatile world economy;

 

  • Microsoft captured a niche 1 percent global tablet share in Q2 2012. The upcoming release of Windows 8 later this year cannot come quickly enough for Microsoft, so its hardware partners, like Dell, can start competing more effectively in the tablet space.

 

Exhibit 1: Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q2 2012  [1]

Global Tablet OS Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q2 '11

Q2 '12

Apple iOS

9.3

17.0

Android

4.4

7.3

Microsoft

0.6

0.3

Others

0.7

0.3

Total

14.9

24.9

 

 

 

Global Tablet OS Market Share %

Q2 '11

Q2 '12

Apple iOS

62.0%

68.3%

Android

29.3%

29.3%

Microsoft

4.0%

1.2%

Others

4.7%

1.2%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year %

N / A

66.8%


[1]  Shipments refer to sell-in. Numbers are rounded. The definition of tablet does not include e-book readers.