Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, front angle

Gartner on Monday released its latest report on global tablet operating system market share figures. The company found that the market increased 68 percent year-over-year in 2013, with 195.4 million units shipped in the year. Meanwhile, Android’s market share skyrocketed during the year – likely due to the huge selection of tablets across an array of price points, while Apple’s iOS market share tanked.

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Gartner noted about 120.9 million Android tablets sold during 2013, representing a 61.9 percent market share – up from a 45.8 percent market share during 2012 when 52.3 million Android tablets were sold. Meanwhile, it noted about 70.4 million iOS tablets were sold during the year, representing  a 36 percent market share. While iOS tablet hardware sales were up from 61.4 million units in 2012, market share the market share decreased from 52.8 percent. Microsoft’s share increased from 1 percent to 2.1 percent, with 4 million units sold. Before you jump ship – keep in mind that Apple is the single seller of iOS tablets (iPads) while dozens of OEMs sell Android products.

“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,” Gartner research director Roberta Cozza explained.

Meanwhile, globally, Apple still has the largest share of the tablet market by vendor. It has a 36 percent share of the overall market, though that dipped from 52.8 percent in 2012. Samsung’s share increased from 7.4 percent of the market in 2012 to 19.1 percent in 2013. ASUS has a 5.6 percent share, up 0.2 percentage points, Amazon’s share came in at 4.8 percent, down from 6.6 percent in 2012, followed by Lenovo at 3.3 percent, up from 1.9 percent in 2012.

So what do these figures tell us? From an operating system perspective, Apple is losing ground quickly. From a vendor perspective, Apple is still the largest seller of tablets, though it’s also losing its share to Samsung, Asus and Lenovo.

Source Gartner