iPad grows lead over Android tablets

Apple’s iPad continues to dominate the tablet market, accounting for more than two out of three tablets sold during the second quarter of this year, per market research firm Strategy Analytics. Specifically, the iPad rose from 62 percent in the year-ago quarter to 68 percent global market share, which the research firm says is its highest level for almost two years. So not only did Apple retain the iPad’s sizable lead, it’s also managed to grow by six percentage points…

Per data, global tablet shipments reached 25 million units, a 67 percent increase over the 14.9 million tablet units in the year-ago quarter, Strategy Analytics estimated. This means all of Apple’s competitors combined sold eight million tablets.

Android captured 29 percent and Windows tablets just one percent, though Microsoft is betting that the upcoming release of Windows 8 and its own Surface tablet will put it back in the game. It’s interesting that global Android tablet shipments grew by more than half to 7.3 million units.

Strategy Analytics points out that these slates still compromise on experience with “unspectacular hardware designs, limited uptake of cellular models and a modest number of tablet-optimized services”.

Apple in the June quarter beat expectations by shipping 17 million iPads, 84 percent up year-over-year. Cumulatively, Apple sold 84 million iPads. It took more than twice as long to hit that milestone with iPods and Apple was able to hit the figure in a third less time on the iPad than the iPhone.

Apple’s head honcho Tim Cook addressed competition during a conference call yesterday:

In terms of competition, we’ve all seen, I think, many different tablets–hundreds of them, come to market over the last year–and I have yet to see any of them really gain what I would call any level of traction at all. We have over 225,000 apps that have been optimized for iPad.

There’s an incredible experience on the iPad, and I still think the market very much, or most customers feel that they’re not really looking for a tablet, they’re just looking for an iPad.

Despite glowing numbers, I’m thinking that iPad’s sizable lead isn’t sustainable in the long run. For starters, Google’s Nexus 7 only recently became available so its impact is going to be felt in the current quarter and going forward.

And it’s going to eat into Apple’s iPad sales, make no mistake about it. Its killer $199 price point strikes a chord with lots of price-conscious shoppers. At just seven inches, Google’s device is also more portable and lighter than the 9.7-inch iPad.

Seen below: Google’s inaugural Nexus 7 commercial.


Amazon is also readying a bunch of new tablets and other makers are no doubt going to flood the market with Jelly Bean slates in the run-up to the holiday shopping season.

Apple, of course, is expected to address the low-end of the market with a rumored mini iPad believed to be scheduled for a fall launch, alongside the next iPhone.

Do you see the iPad maintaining its 50+ percent global market share for long?