Tablet sales grow 68% in 2013, Android outsells iOS

2013 was a big year for tablets. According to the latest numbers posted by Gartner, sales rose to 195 million units, an increase of 68% over 2012. Unlike in the previous year, when iOS-based devices had the lion's share of the market, Android moved to the top of the podium.

  2013 units 2013 share 2012 units 2012 share
Android 121 million 61.9% 53.3 million 45.8%
iOS 70.4 million 36.0% 61.5 million 52.8%
Windows 4.0 million 2.1% 1.2 million 1.0%

Sales of Android-based tablets more than doubled from 2012, giving the OS 62% of the market. Apple's share of the pie fell from 53% to 36%, though iPad shipments still rose by 11 million units. Windows continues to lag well behind in both unit sales and overall market share.

Gartner credits budget devices for Android's surge, so it's important to note that these numbers reflect unit sales rather than revenues. Apple no doubt enjoys higher margins and average selling prices than its competitors.

Speaking of Apple's competitors, here's a breakdown of tablet unit sales by device manufacturer.

  2013 units 2013 share 2012 units 2012 share
Apple 70.4 million 36.0% 61.5 million 52.8%
Samsung 37.4 million 19.1% 8.6 million 7.4%
Asus 11.0 million 5.6% 6.3 million 5.4%
Amazon 9.4 million 4.8% 7.7 million 6.6%
Lenovo 6.5 million 3.3% 2.2 million 1.9%

Even though iOS lost considerable market share to Android, Apple remains the biggest tablet maker by a wide margin. Nearly two iPads were sold for every Samsung slate. That said, Samsung quadrupled its tablet sales over 2012. The Korean electronics giant now has more tablet market share than Asus, Amazon, and Lenovo combined.

Asus' totals were no doubt bolstered by sales of Google's Nexus 7 tablet. It looks like the company's Transformer convertibles weren't included in the tablet totals, though. Gartner says that the larger ultramobile segment, which includes tablets in addition to "hybrids and clamshells," topped 216 million units in 2013. The market research firm claims hybrids were the "fastest growing category in 2013," and it specifically points to Asus as the segment's leader, citing strong sales of the Transformer T100 convertible.

If my math is correct, 21 million hybrid and clamshell devices were sold in 2013. It's unclear how many of those machines were T100s—or even how many came from Asus—but convertibles seem to be gaining a foothold in the market.

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