Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Third Time’s the Charm

ReadWrite’s Dan Rowinski:

Overall, IDC predicts 45.1 million tablets were shipped in Q2 2013. The 9.7% decline from Q1 this year means that manufacturers shipped about 4.37 million fewer tablets between the first and second quarters of the year. Considering that iPad sales dropped by more than that—4.9 million units—something else really picked up the slack.

What could it be? A longshoreman?

That something else was Android.

Oh, that Rowinski and his masterful storytelling.

This IDC report is the third I’ve seen which shows a marked increase in shipments of Android tablets, after Strategy Analytics’ and Canalys’. Both of those are of dubious accuracy owing to the lack of shipment reporting from companies other than Apple, so take this one with a grain of salt, too.

But three reports with broadly similar conclusions (if by widely differing margins) does suggest a trend — the iPad may not retain market dominance forever. But if Android-based tablets are really now the market leader, shouldn’t that be shown in browser usage?

As Apple insists on still charging a premium for its smartphones and tablets, it gave Android the opportunity to carve out a wide swath of the market, from the poorest low-end tablet on the market to very nice options such as the new Nexus 7 that Google announced last week.

Just because Amazon and Google are selling their tablets at (or, perhaps, below) cost, that doesn’t mean Apple is charging a premium.