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Android Tablets Aren’t Catching Up to the iPad – They’re Just Multiplying



New data about tablet sales (as reported by TGDaily) in the second quarter shows Android rising to a 30% market share, with Apple’s iPad falling down to 61% of the market. These numbers, however, have less to do with the rise of Android tablets, and more to do with the multiplication of the Android tablets.


A report from Strategy Analytics says that 4.6 million Android tablets shipped globally in the second quarter of 2011. This is up from a mere 100,000 from the same quarter in 2010:

Anyone can see that that’s a meteroic rise from last year’s shipments. Before you go scheduling a party, though, you might want to keep a few things in mind:

There are 500 billion Android tablets vs. one iPad

Okay, so maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but the tablet market is gradually becoming saturated with Android tablets. After late 2010’s launch of the 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tab, a slew of slates from various manufacturers have been flooding the market.

So you’re not into the first Samsung Galaxy Tab? That’s okay – the XOOM is on its way.

Don’t like the XOOM? Oh look, here comes the LG G-Slate.

Decided to pass on the G-Slate? Hey, check it out – two more Galaxy Tabs!

Tired of Samsung? Hey there, HTC Flyer and HTC View 4G.

Want something a little different? Roll in the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer.

We could go on (Acer Iconia Tab, Toshiba Thrive…), and that’s not even including Archos‘ line of tablets or the many more no-name brands spewing economy (i.e., crappy) tablets into the mix.

Any product like this that is released and marketed heavily is going to sell to some people. Take those “some” sales and multiply them by the number of Android tabs out there, and 30% of the market is an incredibly weak showing.

These are global numbers

It’s also worth noting that this data is referring to global tablet sales, not just the US. This includes many countries where Apple doesn’t even officially sell the iPad.

Market saturation is so heavily tilted in Android’s direction on a global scale, yet they’re selling half of what Apple’s one tablet is selling. We’re all for customers’ having a variety of competitive options, but Android slates are showing up to the party and sitting on the sidelines, while the iPad dances the night away.

Moving forward

We aren’t here to bash Android or to ruffle XOOM fanboys’ feathers though. Android tablets are just getting started, and – though they’ve been off to about as abysmal a start as possible – Amazon’s big dog has yet to be unchained. We’ve said several times that it will have the chance to make the first big non-iPad splash in the market, due to its potential price point, brand recognition, and bundled streaming services.

But please don’t take these Q2 tablet shipment numbers to mean something they don’t. Android tablets aren’t selling well at all. The iPad doesn’t just own the market, it is the market. Android tablets are merely there, whereas a year ago they weren’t.

via Cult of Mac



  1. JM

    07/21/2011 at 7:17 pm

    Really?  This is probably the most biased article I’ve ever read on this site, which is usually pretty neutral.  What does it matter where they sold the tablets, or how many brands/companies it sold under.  They still sold.  Do you say Microsoft has less of the desktop market share because different manufacturers make the computers?  The fact is they took a huge chunk of the market, and they’re just getting started.  Based on the number shipped out…Apple should be watching their backs.  I’m not dismissing Apple’s accomplishments; but at the same time, this article does everything to TRY to dismiss what Android has accomplished.

    • Cuhulin

      07/21/2011 at 7:44 pm

      Ok, this article is more commentary than fact, but it merely repeats something that other industry commentators have been saying for several months: android tablets are not gaining a lot of market traction.  

      Production of the XOOM was cut, sales of the various other Android tablets have not been great, although the collective number of them is not inconsequential.

      As it happens, I use an Android tablet, not an Ipad, but the fact is that there has not been a real, significant competitor for the Ipad yet.  There are several that have a chance — maybe Amazon or a v2 Nook Color in the consumer space, or the new Lenovo in the enterprise and business markets — but it’s almost comical how badly they have been introduced (usually without being finished), marketed (does anyone know what the XOOM ads were supposed to be telling customers) and merchandised (selling the Flyer without the pen).

      The problem is that it is still early.  If market success at this point was to be decisive, we’d all be writing on our Myspace pages about the latest versions of Wordstar, Dbase and VisiCalc.

      • JM

        07/21/2011 at 9:29 pm

        A 460% increase in year over year sales makes them a pretty significant competitor.  Apples increase was 166% year over year.  That’s pretty significant.

        • honkj

          07/21/2011 at 10:38 pm

          uh, going from 1 sell, to 4 sells is a 400% increase,   while iPads went from 4million, to 9million…

          would that (4) still be a significant competitor?   as if it was an “it”,   in reality there are 96 versions of an Android tablets shown in the last CES show…   none of them compatible with each other….  nor could they run half the apps of the 50 or so apps available on for android tablets…  Developers are already having headaches trying to deal with the fragmentation BEFORE the next 96 tablets showed up…

          there were not 5.5 million Android tablets sold, (or 4.6 million)  if you go to all the manufactures and add up their own sales reports,  they don’t even come close?  why?  because most are so embarrassed by the sells numbers they won’t even publish them…

          this “research” is based on estimate surveys….  very very bad estimates…

  2. TheBlur

    07/21/2011 at 7:23 pm


    same thing was said about android phones when the first G1 came out.  Of course it will take some time for android to catch up and of course there’s gonna be shitload of android tablets, that’s the beauty of it right there.

  3. dannyroa

    07/21/2011 at 7:23 pm

    “The iPad doesn’t just own the market, it is the market.”

    This is hilarious. If iPad is the market, it should be 100%. But hey, you can’t let facts get in the way of your argument.

    • honkj

      07/21/2011 at 10:42 pm

      show us a link to which manufacture of an Android tablet that has reported selling even 2 million tablets to customers?   just one… (or even hinted at it in a press release?)  then lets talk about facts…   (and i don’t mean stuffing the channels like samsung did)

      in reality Android did not even sell this reported 4.6 million…  this research is made up of estimates…

      • dannyroa

        07/21/2011 at 10:45 pm

        Wait, so the Android figures are not real but the iPad estimates are, even if they are from the same source?

        • honkj

          07/21/2011 at 10:47 pm

          apple Reported the exact number of Sales in an SEC filed report for the last quarter…   HELLO?????  now show us a single Android Manufacturer,  that reported a SINGLE sell????   any bells an whistles going off?

          one is a fact,  the other is an estimate… get it????

      • Bfm Magee

        07/28/2011 at 12:52 pm

        You need to look at the history of Android phones against the iPhone.  It took only two years for Android phones to outsell the iPhone and now it’s not even close.  What’s important is operating systems…not phones.  2 years from now the collective android tablets will out sell the iPad.  This article was take from a website called ‘cult of mac’…of course it’s biased because it was written by  an Apple fanboy.  Here’s an article with a little less ‘bias’ and a little more impartiality.

  4. Anonymous

    07/21/2011 at 7:26 pm

    What the hell is this crap?
    This used to be an actual decent blog about mobile technology.
    Now it is the rare piece that actually reviews something or offers any insight beyond what you can find on some petty troll-bait infested forum.
    This article is nothing but the winging whine of a fan boy.
    “oh – the numbers say the one I don’t like is doing OK, but really we know it is crap and those numbers are totally unfair and, and, and… ”
    And why am I wasting my time reading this crap is a better question for me.

  5. boredwithGBM

    07/22/2011 at 1:46 am

    What a joke this site has become.

  6. boredwithGBM

    07/22/2011 at 1:46 am

    What a joke this site has become.

  7. Anonymous

    07/22/2011 at 9:44 am

    You really have to chuckle at the fanboyism here.
    It seems the argument goes that it is not fair because multiple companies sell multiple android tablets against the one holy ipad.
    So what?
    That is the android strategy.
    And I realize that it must be a little heart-breaking for fanboys everywhere to realize that mark-1 androids are marching on close to a third of the market against the mark-2 ipad, I think that you must get used to it.

  8. Tablet Cases

    07/22/2011 at 2:49 pm

    with enough android tablets around there is a growing probability that potential iPad customers will just get completely lost and confused and end up picking up the wrong tablet from the shelf

  9. AppleFUD

    07/23/2011 at 2:28 pm

    This article is tantamount to the ridiculous argument that apple fans have been putting forth the the iPad is like the iPod  and that the iPad created the tablet market, as if there wen’t tablets before it.

    The iPad did NOT create the “tablet market.” PC tablets are not in the same category as the iPad because they do more and are considered PCs. The iPad is considered a “media tablet.” In other words the iPad is a “media consumption device” and not a computing device. In other words, they’ve defined a category specifically for the iPad so, of course, it has a high market share. . . DUH!

    Now, essentially one quarter after Android “iPad like” tablets are released Android has ~30% of that market. Ooooppppsssss . . . and apple fans just a few months ago said Android tablets wouldn’t sell at all. 
    And that’s excluding the most popular Android table from the category, the Nook Color. And let us not forget the the most popular Android “tablet” Asus’ Transformer has had very short supplied and is just now ramping up and the Galaxy Tab just released = looking bad for apple if they can’t keep 90% market share up to this point. 

    Sure, the iPad category is a lot like the iPod category. It’s a fictitious category that excludes devices that do the same thing and/or more so that apple can claim a majority.

    Studies show 50+% of cell phone users use their phones to play music–not an mp3 player. Cell phones sell over one billion per year thus 50% of that is 500 million people per year listening to music on their cell phones. How many iPods sell per year? 40M? 80M? Yeah, a hell of a lot less than cell phones, thus the conclusion is that the iPod is NOT the most used music player. . . not even close people, and therefore cannot be considered a market leader. This is the same game you all are trying to play with the ipad–define a fictitious category so it looks like it’s a market leader.

    Apple fans really need to pull their heads out and get a grip on reality. Apple is good as making lots of money via their high markups and they suck at dominating markets. . . not that they care too because they are cashing in on idiots willing to pay their high markup.

  10. Frank

    07/24/2011 at 3:46 pm

    This is a crap article. I won’t repeat what the others above have said. Ridiculous.

  11. MODEL4US2

    08/14/2011 at 3:14 am

    Disclaimer:   I own a iPad.   I also own several Android pads.   First; Google takes some blame for this.   When Apple released the iPad there should have been a Android version ready for pads.   There wasn’t and people bought the iPad.    It was those who bought and used the early Android pads like the infamous Eken and Apad and switched out the roms that kept things going but we are a small number compared to the overall consumer base.

    Later horrible products like the Augen and Maytag hit the market at stores like Walgreens.   Cheap but with terrible roms people bought them and returned them quickly.   Some of those buyers just grabbed a iPad.   Once that happens its hard to get them to buy another pad no matter how good it is.   Even cool pads like the hacked Nook are being bought by just hobbyists.   Matters weren’t helped much by pads like the Xoom shipping with SD card slots that didn’t function.   Moreover people don’t want the hassle of updating and or replacing roms.

    Now we are in a cash poor economy.   People will  buy what they know and trust.   They know Apple stands behind their products.   There are lots and lots of tablet choices and consumers don’t know which to buy.   Better screen vs. processor or ram and or storage.   So which version of Android does this run?    Where do, I get apps?   Which will work on my tablet?   Apple is ready with answers and help.   This is a battle they’ve largely won.  

  12. Queentorrent

    11/04/2011 at 4:17 pm

    I love the changing wallpapers and moving
    icons debate….Is it really that important?? “I could move my icons but
    I’m running on the oldest android software because my cell maker can’t
    afford the upgrade”!!

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