IDC: Surging Android Tablets Still Far Behind the iPad

The numbers are starting to trickle in, and by IDC’s count, it was an exceptional second quarter for Android tablets. Millions of Android-powered tablets flew off the shelves, and that doesn’t even take Nexus 7 sales into account, as Google’s tablet didn’t officially start shipping until the third quarter. Amazon rallied from a lackluster beginning to the year, and both ASUS and Samsung more than doubled their share of the market compared to last year. All in all, Android fans have a lot to brag about.

None of it put a dent in Apple’s dominance of the tablet market.

Apple sold more iPads in the second quarter than it has in any other quarter in the slate’s history, moving 17 million-plus tablets in three months and seeing 84.3 percent growth over last year’s shipments. Two out of every three tablets shipped last quarter hailed from Cupertino.

Image credit: IDC

To put some perspective on things, some quick math shows that, despite the relatively massive spike in Android shipments percentage-wise, companies not named Apple only managed to move just shy of 8 million units combined. HP, the leader in traditional computer sales, only moved slightly over 13 million PCs last quarter.

The arrival of Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets in a couple of months should shake things up, but IDC vice president Bob O’Donnell thinks the cards won’t necessarily fall in Microsoft’s favor.      

“If anything, there’s a real risk that people will have too many options from which to choose this holiday season,” he says in the research firm’s press release. “Consumers baffled by the differences between Amazon and Google versions of Android, or Windows 8 and Windows RT, may well default to market leader Apple. Or they may simply choose to remain on the sideline.”


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