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Android tablets eating into Apple’s market share

Numbers! They’re what make the tech world go round. Phone and tablet specs grow ever higher, OS versions slowly creep up over the years, and it’s all to ensure sales and market share.

Here are the latest figures to chew on: during Q3, worldwide tablet shipments hit 16.7 million overall, with Apple shifting 11.1 million iPads and Android tablets hitting 4.5 million. In terms of market share, Apple are holding 66.6% while Android has made huge gains, securing 26.9%, and the overall tablet market is up 280% from last year – impressive indeed.

The figures might not be as fantastic as first realized though. GigaOM pointed out that Apple’s numbers are an indicator of tablets actually sold, while the Android figures are just tablets that have been shipped to retailers – there could still be lots of Xooms and Galaxy Tab 10.1’s sitting on shelves that haven’t been sold yet. There’s also the issue of Android being so malleable that devices like the Nook Color are included in the figures. While it does run Android, it’s a heavily modified version of designed for e-reader use rather than as a traditional tablet.

Some quick math on their part though shows it might not all be bad news. Andy Rubin recently said that 190 million Android devices have been activated, with 1.8% of devices currently running Android 3.x. That works out to around 3.42 million Honeycomb tablets, not too far off the 4.5 million mentioned in the report, but most likely spread over the course of the whole year rather than the quarter.

With the Kindle Fire just around the corner with sales predictions already in the millions, the Android numbers are sure to see another boost, even if it’s not quite in the way we think.

Source: CNET