Boston - Global tablet shipments soared 150 percent to 27 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 and by 260 percent for the entire year to 66.9 million,
The company's research also found Android's
share of fourth-quarter tablet shipments growing to 39 percent from a year-ago
29 percent, with Apple remaining in the lead with 58 percent share, down from a
year-ago 68 percent. Microsoft share
grew in the fourth quarter to 1.5 percent from zero year-ago share. (See
table.) Shipments exclude e-readers.
Despite losing share, "Apple shrugged off the much-hyped threat from entry-level Android models this quarter," said Peter King, director at Strategy Analytics. For his part, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said, "Android is so far proving relatively popular with tablet manufacturers despite nagging concerns about fragmentation of Android's operating system, user-interface and app store ecosystem."
On an annual basis, global tablet shipments hit 66.9 million units in 2011, surging 260 percent from 2010's 18.6 million, with Android tablet shipments tripling to 10.5 million in 2011. That put Android's 2011 global share at 15.7 percent.
"Consumers are increasingly buying tablets in preference to netbooks and even entry-level notebooks or desktops," Strategy Analytics noted.