FutureFive NZ - 'Niche' Microsoft tablets trail Apple and Android

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'Niche' Microsoft tablets trail Apple and Android

Apple held off a strong Android challenge to lead the global tablet shipment market last quarter, while Microsoft carved out a 7.5% stake in the industry.

That is according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, who says tablet shipments reached 40.6 million units worldwide during the first quarter of 2013 - an 117% increase from 2012.

Securing a robust 43% global share, Android trailed Apple who maintained its strong leadership at 48%.

"Demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users remains strong," says Peter King, director of Tablets, Strategy Analytics.

"Apple produced a solid performance this quarter as the Mini had its first full term and shipped a robust 19.5 million mixed iPads worldwide maintaining market leadership.

"Android captured a record 43% share of global branded tablet shipments in Q1 2013, rising from 34 percent a year earlier.

"Global Android tablet shipments increase 177 per cent annually to 17.6 million units."

Noticeably when Kelly added White-Box 1 tablets to the mix, Android's market share increased significantly to 52%, ahead of iOS on 41%.

"The bulk of the White-Box tablets are Android low budget models aimed at a different market to the branded tablets," King says.

But while Apple and Android continued to fight it out at the top-end of the market, Microsoft captured a much smaller share during the quarter.

King says very limited distribution, a shortage of top tier apps and confusion in the market are all holding back shipments - branding Microsoft a 'niche' player at present.

To read the full report, Global Tablet OS Market Share: Q1 2013, click here.

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