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Android overtakes iPad and iPhone in tablet and smartphone sales

10 May 2013
Apple iPad

Mobile device shipments reached more than 300 million units globally for the first quarter of 2013, according to figures from research firm Canalys, with Apple's iPad and iPhone representing a smaller share of this due to competition from Android devices.

The figures from Canalys cover what it calls "smart mobile devices", comprising laptops, tablets and smartphones. Total sales of these grew by 37.4 percent worldwide compared with the same quarter last year, hitting 308.7 million units.

The good news for Apple is that while it has a smaller share of the pie, the pie itself is still growing. And while the Android platform accounts for a larger share of both smartphones and tablets, that share is spread across a number of different vendors.

In tablets for example, Apple accounts for 46.4 percent of sales in a market that has more than doubled, according to Canalys. Shipments of these grew by 106.1 percent year-on-year to 41.9 million units during the quarter, it said.

Smartphones also grew by 47.9 percent to 216.3 million units this quarter, although Android dominates here and accounts for 75.6 percent. Samsung alone accounts for a 32 percent share of all smartphones, according to the Canalys figures.

Canalys principal analyst Pete Cunningham said: "Despite its slowing growth, Apple still shipped over 37 million iPhones. But HTC and Samsung have raised the bar with their latest handsets and Apple needs to respond with its next iPhone. The iPhone user interface is now six years old and badly in need of a refresh."

Laptop shipments continued to decline during the first quarter, down 13.1 percent to a total of 50.5 million units worldwide. However, Western Europe showed a more marked decline of 25.2 percent year on year, according to Canalys.

While Europe's economic conditions may have contributed to this situation, Canalys pointed the finger at tablets and other devices as the main factor hitting laptop sales.

Research analyst Pin-Chen Tang said: "The combination of ARM-based chipsets and Android has taken computing devices to new, lower price points. If Microsoft and Intel are serious about capitalising on this market, both will need to ensure that their OEMs can remain competitive on price."

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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