updated 03:16 pm EST, Mon March 3, 2014
Apple still most successful individual tablet maker
Android ruled global tablet marketshare in 2013, accounting for 62 percent of devices by shipments, according to somewhat questionable data from research firm Gartner. That represents a significant upset, since in 2012 the iPad was in firm control with a 52.8 percent share. Apple, however, continued to do best among individual tablet makers in sales, with a 36 percent share and claimed sales over 70.4 million units -- an increase from a figure just under 61.5 million in 2012.
AppleInsider correctly points out that Gartner has undercounted Apple sales, which actually totalled 74.2 million in 2013 -- a difference of nearly four million units. The analysts also continue the erroneous assumption that shipments are the same as end-user sales, which isn't true. Only Apple reports end-user sales: the others all report only shipments, some portion of which are returned or junked as unsold.
Among the leading Android tablet shippers was Samsung, which rose from about 8.6 million units (a 7.4 percent share) in 2012 to 37.4 million units, giving it 19.1 percent of shipments and allegedly a 336 percent year-over-year increase in "sales." Asus grew from 6.3 million/5.4 percent to 11 million/5.6 percent, while Lenovo advanced from 2.2 million/1.9 percent to 6.5 million/3.3 percent. Amazon's share slipped from 6.6 to 4.8 percent, but its sales nevertheless increased from 7.7 million to 9.4 million (it should be noted that Amazon releases neither sales or shipment figures, and that Gartner's claims on Kindle sales are purely speculative).
The remaining 31 percent of 2013 shipments was taken up by the "Others" category, including nearly 60.7 million in tablet sales. That's more than double what the category represented in 2012. Tying into that may be the influence of poorer countries -- Gartner mentions that "emerging" markets saw tablet shipments grow 145 percent in 2013, versus only 31 percent in developed ones.