1. Akshay Masand's Avatar

    The research firm Gartner recently announced tablet sales numbers for the full 2013 calendar year, finding Android to have grown a whopping 127% to rest at the top position from Apple for the first time ever. According to Gartner’s findings, end users bought nearly 121 million tablets running Google’s Android operating system, which accounted for 61.9% of the market. Apple on the other hand, reportedly dropped from a 52.8% share of the market to 36% on 70.4 million sales.

    Gartner claims that the impressive Android performance is credited to a growing popularity in the low-end smaller screen device sector. The numbers however raise red flags regarding questionable methodology and reporting. The most glaring inconsistency is a disconnect between Gartner’s 70.4 million iPad sales and Apple’s self-reported 74 million unit sales for 2013. From the first quarter, Apple’s second fiscal quarter, to the fourth, the company reported iPad sales of 19.5 million, 14.6 million, 14.1 million and 26 million, respectively. The total 74.2 million iPads sold during 2013.

    Aside the fact that Apple’s sales figures are regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Gartner’s results are not off by a trivial amount, but a huge 3.8 million units. Thought of in another way, the discrepancy, if applied to number 3 Microsoft’s sales, would almost completely wipe out the Surface maker’s performance for 2013. Further confusing the issue is Gartner’s use of the term “sales.” Apple is the only major company to report sales to end users, while Android device manufacturers such as Samsung note only shipments. Gartner saw Samsung’s tablet business grow 336% year-over-year, a feat chalked up to expanded product offerings and intense marketing. Gartner’s report reads the following:

    In line with its smartphone approach, Samsung's oversegmentation of its tablet portfolio helped it to offer a wider size and price choice but also helped it to test the market and find niches.
    In its vendor breakdown, Gartner once again includes the “Other” category dominated by so-called “white box,” or unbranded devices. When compared to last year’s 30.1 million sales, “Other” manufacturers racked up 60.7 million unit sales in 2013. To offer some perspective, the number is larger than the recorded sales for the list’s second, third and fourth place OEMs combined.

    Gartner research director Roberta Cozza said the following regarding the matter:

    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. 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.
    Source: Gartner via AppleInsider

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand
    2014-03-04 08:08 AM
  2. XweAponX's Avatar
    Just look at the sales chart, apple is the only company that sells devices with iOS on it. droidOS on the other gland, is being installed on all of the other posOS devices, save for windbloat 8 jokephones.

    Ergo, if you have ONE company that sells devices with ONLY iOS on them and no other companies sell iOS based devices vs 500 jokecompanies that sell DroidPOS devices, it just means that the crappy DroidPOSOS is installed like 17 to 1 or more.

    Actually if whoever made those stats would have taken into account the 500 to 1,000 Droid off-brands (usually rockchip devices) it would be way more than 2 to 1 droid vs iOS, it would be more like 20:1.

    It don't mean droid is better or even "outselling" apple, it just means that soon, there will be bins of broken droidevices being transported to the places where they gather electronic waste.

    Because most Droidevices are still using jellybean, and not 4.4, which I actually like. 4.1 jellypeakfreen is a sucky os especially in the cheap 70 dollar tablets that they stick it into.

    That's why I don't like droid much, not enough standardization in the basic OS from device to device, and you can't update the software unless the maker of the device allows you to and supplies the update. This I learned the hard way when I bought a rockchip M7088- it was a great tablet, but the maker, Double Power, installed jellybean and not 4.4. Maybe 4.4 can't run on rockchip. But before I bought that, I assumed that Droid had a standard update package that could be downloaded. But they don't. And I also hated the "capacitive touch keyboard", I don't even know what that means, except that I don't have to tap an icon on my iPad 5 times before it registers.

    Fooey, "that's a lot of hooey" - Gary Cooper
    2014-03-04 11:23 AM
  3. bigboyz's Avatar
    While #'s don't lie they can definitely be misconstrued. As stated above, Apple only houses iOS on iPhones. Used to be one iPad and now we have mini and Air models. Droids have countless variations on the same device under different companies. They are also cheaper in most cases. People buy what they can afford in most cases..and not what they really want.
    2014-03-04 02:43 PM
  4. peacedog's Avatar
    Everyone and their mother overseas is making and selling those sh*t $59 Android tablets. A guy at my work bought one on eBay. It was a piece of crap. Resolution was crap. Touch sensitivity was crap. This should be in no way a threat to Apple.
    2014-03-04 05:17 PM
  5. fleurya's Avatar
    Meh, the way I read it is Apple sold almost double the next best manufacturer.

    Sure android in general sold double, but as others said, there's a lot of companies pushing out some subpar garbage. I would only count those listed and a few others as legit android competitors in the tablet arena.

    If you look at how jacked up and limited Amazons version of android is, it should almost be its own OS category. And if Samsung is brave enough to move to Tizen even partially, android will lose a huge chunk of their tablet market share.

    Nice to see MS start to make some inroads. Competition is good.
    2014-03-04 06:11 PM