Android vs. iOS: Apple’s iPad finally dethroned by Android tablets in 2013

4 March 2014, 8:09 am EST By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps

Android tablets have managed to outsell Apple's iPad in 2013, according to a recent report by research firm Gartner.

Ever since Apple launched its first tablet back in April 2010, the iPad has been the most popular tablet platform. Last year, however, Google's Android took over and became the top tablet operating system, dethroning the iPad platform.

Back in 2012, Android held a 45.8 percent share of the tablet market. Apple, meanwhile, had a 52.8 percent share of tablet sales. A new report from market research firm Gartner now reveals that things changed last year, with Google's platform soaring to the top spot on the tablet market.

Marking a big change compared to the previous year, 2013 has brought Android an impressive 61.9 percent share of the tablet market, while Apple grabbed a 36 percent share. In terms of sales, Android saw 120,961,445 tablets sold, while Apple sold 70,400,159 iPads.

"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," reads the Gartner press release.

"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," explained Gartner research director Roberta Cozza. "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."

It's worth pointing out, however, that while iPads come from a single company, Android powers numerous tablets out there from various manufacturers. The Android OS was indeed the top platform for tablets in 2013, but Apple was still the top tablet manufacturer. The Cupertino iPad maker grabbed a 36 percent share of the market, outperforming Samsung, which had a 19.1 share of tablet sales.

ASUS, the company behind the first- and second-generation Google Nexus 7, ranked third with a 5.6 percent share of the market, followed by Amazon with a 4.8 percent share. Lenovo took the fifth spot with a 3.3 percent share, while other Android tablet makers accounted for the remaining 31 percent of sales.

For more information, check out Gartner's full report "Market Share: Ultramobiles by Region, OS and Form Factor, 4Q13 and 2013," available on the company's website.

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