Boston - Global tablet shipments soared 329 percent in the second quarter, to 15.1 million units from 2.5 million, with Apple losing share but retaining a commanding No. 1 position, Strategy Analytics found.
Apple's share slipped from 94 percent in the year-ago quarter, when it was largely alone in the market, to 61 percent in the second quarter of this year as competing tablet platforms arose, said the research and consulting company. (See chart.) Apple shipped 9.1 million tablets in the quarter.
The Android platform's share of second-quarter tablet shipments came to 30 percent during the quarter. Strategy Analytics pegged the share of tablets with Microsoft's OS at 5 percent in the quarter for a third-place ranking even though the OS is not "fully optimized for finger-driven tablets." Fourth place went to RIM's QNX OS share at 3 percent. RIM's first-generation PlayBook model "experienced a lackluster launch due to product design issues surrounding native email support," the company said.
Multiple Android models distributed across multiple countries by multiple brands are driving Android volumes, said Strategy Analytics director Neil Mawston, but for now, "no Android vendor yet offers a blockbuster model to rival the iPad, and demand for many Android vendors' products remains patchy." If Amazon decides to launch its first Android tablet later this year, Amazon's tablet "will bring fresh excitement and buzz to the Android community, but Amazon will need to deliver a truly standout offering if it really wants to make headway against the popular iPad."