Android-based tablets taking over the lead

abi researchA shift in leadership is now upon the tablet mobile computing market, observed ABI Research.

At the year’s mid-point, the market intelligence firm has identified a trio of events signalling Apple’s iPad family of products has passed the baton to the Android ecosystem. During Q2, the number of Android-powered tablets surpassed iOS-based slates for the first time, tablet-related hardware revenues reached parity, and perhaps most important, the average selling price (ASP) of iPad is rapidly approaching the market average.

Overall shipments in the quarter dropped 17 percent sequentially while growing 23 percent year-over-year for the same quarterly period. “Smaller 7-inch class tablets are finally the majority of shipments,” says Jeff Off, Senior Practice Director at ABI Research. “The 7.9-inch iPad mini represented about 60 percent of total iPad shipments and 49 percent of iPad-related device revenues in the quarter.”

Tablet shipments in Q2 achieved revenues of US$12.7 billion. For the first time, iPad represented only half of worldwide end-user revenues. Apple split the market with all other branded vendors at US$6.3 billion in the quarter.

Similarly, the change in the vendor landscape can be seen through the ASP of tablets. In the past year, iPad ASPs dropped 17 percent while the rest of market increased 17 percent. The iPad drop is primarily attributed to the introduction and volume shift to the smaller iPad mini.

Apple still remains top of the pack in tablets, though its lineup has been matched and bested by competitors. “Twelve months is a long time for the peak lifecycle of a contemporary tablet. To remain a leader, Apple must continue to innovate and address real-world market needs,” added Orr.

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