A Gartner study revealed that Android dominated tablet sales last year, constituting 121 million of the 195 million total tablets sold.
Gartner has released its report on 2013 tablet sales, which found that of the 195 million tablets sold in 2013, Android tablets constituted a whopping 62 percent, or 121 million tablets sold. Apple placed second with a 36 percent market share, which translates to 70 million tablets sold. Last year, Apple was the tablet company to beat, with 53 percent of tablet sales constituting 63 million iPads sold, according to TechCrunch. Android tablets only made up 46 percent of worldwide sales with 53 million tablets sold.
With Android tablet sales jumping 127 percent this year, according to the study, Gartner said tablet buyers are increasingly looking for tablets that cost less and don’t have as many features. It all comes down to price: consumers want a tablet that gets the job done, even if it isn’t the fanciest model on the shelf. And in the struggle between functionality, price and aesthetics, Android tablets check the most boxes for the average consumer. But now that there are tons of different Android tablets on the market, Gartner feels that manufacturers are going to need to do something to make their individual models stand out from the crowd.
"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, in a statement. "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."
News of Android’s healthy sales aren’t that surprising, considering that last month Strategy Analytics revealed that 79 percent of all smartphones shipped last year ran on Google’s OS. And based on Gartner’s latest figures, Android is poised to take over the tablet world within the next few years if its sales momentum continues to increase. The many varieties of Android-powered devices helped to make Android the top seller overall, even though Apple still sold the most tablets—37 million—of any other vendor.
Apple will continue to be hard-pressed to compete with the many different Android tablet manufacturers as Google’s flagship OS continues to grow in popularity, meaning it's going to have to do something different if it doesn’t want to fall behind any further.