Apple and Android may continue to struggle for the biggest slice of the smartphone market, but when it comes to tablets, Apple’s enjoyed a comfortable lead. As competition starts getting fiercer and fiercer over in Android-land, though, Apple’s dominance shows signs of slipping, and if some recent trends continue, we may soon see Android tablets start to outnumber iPads.
Some of the latest data looks at shipments of new tablets over the third quarter of 2013. Compared to the second quarter, Apple’s numbers are down a precipitous fourteen percent, with Android picking up the slack. Specifically, Samsung, ASUS, and Amazon have been seeing their shares of the market increase. When you consider all Android tablets as a group, they represented forty-four percent of Q3 tablet sales, compared to Apple’s fifty-five. While Android would still have to make some serious headroads to overtake Apple’s lead, another quarter with a fifteen percent shift in sales could easily turn the tides.
Of course, Apple now has a few new tools in its tablet arsenal, with the iPad Mini and iPad 4 now on the scene. While that might help Apple hold on to some of its share, analysts aren’t optimistic that it will be enough to reclaim the wide sales margin it enjoyed in the past.