Android thrashes Apple's iPad with 67% share of global tablet market

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Worldwide tablet shipments topped 51.7 million units during the second quarter of 2013, up 43 percent from 36.1 million a year ago, research firm Strategy Analytics reports.

Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system dominated the global tablet market between April 1 and June 30, powering 67 percent of devices shipped during the period, increasing from 51.4 percent in the second quarter of 2012. "Android is now making steady progress due to hardware partners like Samsung, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google and white-box tablets which, despite the fact that branded OEMs are lowering price points and putting pressure on the white-box manufacturers, are still performing well," said Peter King, Strategy Analytics' director of tablets.

Android's growth spelled trouble for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, which slipped to 28.3 percent global tablet shipment share, down from 47.2 percent a year ago. "Apple iOS shipments were 14.6 million iPads in Q2 2013, which declined 14 percent annually," King said. "In the same quarter a year ago the first Retina display iPads were launched which could partly explain the decline as there were no new models in this quarter. However, to compensate that, iPad Mini, which was not available a year ago [and is] now freely available, was expected to take the figure higher than 14.6 million." 

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) follows at 4.5 percent, gaining from just 0.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012. "There may be an uptick in Windows RT shipments in Q3 following savage price cuts by all the partners still involved in the RT Market," Strategy Analytics said. "Microsoft has reduced prices by $150 and other vendors even more; they are still not cheap, but are much more where they should be to compete. The shortage of apps continues to be a problem, with seemingly little incentive for developers to work on the platform."

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) plummeted from 0.9 percent to 0.2 percent, casting additional doubt on the manufacturer's future in the tablet market. Last month, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins confirmed the company will not adapt its new BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system for its aging PlayBook tablet--earlier this year, Heins told Bloomberg that he believes the tablet form factor will have a limited shelf life, and also said that BlackBerry will consider a PlayBook follow-up only if the product can offer a unique value proposition in a crowded market. David Smith, the head of BlackBerry's PlayBook tablet division, is set to leave the company in the near future.

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