May 18, 2014 11:02 PM EDT
Android Grew 127 Percent and Reached the No. 1 Position in 2013. According to Gartner, worldwide sales of tablets to end users reached 195.4 million units in 2013, a 68 percent increase on 2012. The tablet growth in 2013 was fueled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first time buyers; this led Android to become the No. 1 tablet operating system (OS), with 62 percent of the market.
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"In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications," said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner. "As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditized, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value — beyond just hardware and cost — to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins."
In 2013, the share of Apple's iOS dropped 16.8 percentage points as the market demand was driven by the improved quality of smaller low-cost tablets from branded vendors, and white-box products continued to grow in emerging markets. Gartner analysts said emerging markets recorded growth of 145 per cent in 2013, while mature markets grew 31 percent. "Apple's tablets remain strong in the higher end of the market and, Apple's approach will continue to force vendors to compete with full ecosystem offerings, even in the smaller-screen market as the iPad mini sees a greater share”, added Ms. Cozza.
In 2013, Microsoft's tablet volumes improved but share remained small. Despite Microsoft now acting more rapidly to evolve Windows 8.1, its ecosystem still failed to capture major consumers' interest on tablets. "To compete, Microsoft needs to create compelling ecosystem proposition for consumers and developers across all mobile devices, as tablets and smartphones become key devices for delivering applications and services to users beyond the PC," said Ms. Cozza. Microsoft enjoys better shares in ultramobiles that are more productivity oriented, where its partners are ramping up new form factors and designs.
The worldwide smart connected device space will continue to surge, with overall shipments surpassing 2 billion units by the end of 2015 with a market value of $735.1 billion. In terms of device mix, total PC shipments accounted for 28.7% of the smart connected device market in 2012 while tablets accounted for 11.8% and smartphones for 59.5%. By 2017, total PCs are expected to drop to 13%, while tablets and smartphones will contribute 16.5% and 70.5% respectively to the overall market. The shift in demand from the more expensive PC category to more reasonably priced smartphones and tablets will drive the average selling price (ASP) for the collective market from $462 in 2012 to $323 in 2017.
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