Android tablet market share surges to record high in Q3

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Worldwide tablet shipments reached 24.7 million units during the third quarter of 2012, rising 43 percent from 17.2 million in the year-ago quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

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Shipments of tablets running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android more than doubled year-over-year, increasing from 5 million in the third quarter of 2011 to 10.2 million a year later. Android now represents a record-high 41.3 percent of the global tablet market, up from 29.2 percent a year ago--Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) rival iOS slipped from 64.5 percent to 56.7 percent during the same period as shipments of the iPad tablet increased from 11.1 million to 14 million.

"No single Android vendor comes close to Apple in volume terms at the moment, but the collective weight of dozens of hardware partners, such as Asus, Samsung and [Barnes & Noble's] Nook, is helping Google's Android platform to register a growing presence in tablets," said Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston.

Demand for tablets should increase during the fourth quarter, boosted by the arrival of new devices like Apple's iPad mini, announced earlier this week, as well as the fourth generation of the full-size iPad. Although Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) captured just 1.6 percent of the global tablet market during the previous quarter, Strategy Analytics anticipates the release of its new Windows 8 operating system will drive volumes higher during the holiday shopping season.

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