Apple has lost its position as the leader of the tablet market after strong growth for Android-based devices in 2013.
Gartner reported that tablet sales hit 195 million in 2013, an increase of 68 percent over 2012. Android led this growth, with sales of devices on the platform hitting 121 million, up from 53 million in 2012.
This helped Android devices take a 62 percent share of the market, up from 46 percent in 2012.
Meanwhile, Apple iPad device sales rose from 61 million to 70 million. However, the firm’s market share fell from 53 percent to 36 percent, as the Android invasion of the tablet space eroded its position as market leader.
Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, said the figures proved that Android’s ability to be used in devices at different price points was key to its success, as in the smartphone market.
"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," she said.
Despite Apple losing its market share Cozza said the firm remained a strong player due to its dominance in the high end of the market.
"Apple's approach will continue to force vendors to compete with full ecosystem offerings, even in the smaller-screen market as the iPad Mini sees a greater share”, she added.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Windows 7 and 8 platforms continue to struggle against iOS and Android in the tablet space, with just 2.1 percent of the market running a Microsoft operating system.
This is over double its market share in 2012, though, with four million devices sold running Windows 7 or 8 in 2013.
The figures from Gartner mirror predictions made by rival analyst house IDC in December 2013. IDC forecasted Android's dominance in the tablet market as vendors such as HP, Asus and Acer all flock to Google's platform.
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