Android Beating iOS to Premium Tablet Market-Share

Apple is no longer the king of the category it created, lightweight tablets running smartphone operating systems, with the 2010 sensation that iPad became. Data published by ABI Research shows that Android is outpacing iOS in the premium tablet operating system market.

Brand iPad is seeing the biggest slowdown since its inception, due to the emergence of compact tablets, phablets, and a general lack of innovation from Apple since its October 2012-launched 4th generation iPad and iPad mini. In Q2-2013, ABI Research notes that Apple sold a total of 14.5 million iPad tablets, in comparison to 30.5 million Android-based ones sold in the same period.

There's a different interpretation to the numbers. Apple may have sold less than 50 percent of the number of Android tablets sold, but makes more revenue per tablet, since the iPads carry premium pricing, compared to the cheap prices that a bulk of the Android swarm commands. In Q2-2013, for the first time, the revenue generated by the sale of Android tablets caught up with the revenue generated by iPad sales, and that is alarming for Cupertino.

Revenues from tablet sales across the board in Q2 2013 amounted to $12.7 billion, out of which, for the first time, Apple made less than $6.35 billion. The other alarming data point for Apple is the average pricing. People are willing to spend more on Android-based tablets than ever before. The average price of an Apple tablet dropped 17 percent year over year, while that of Android has risen. Therefore, Android tablets aren't just presenting "cheap" alternatives to iPads, but sometimes "better" alternatives, as well.

Having sold 14.5 million iPads, Apple is no doubt the single largest supplier of tablets, but the second biggest one isn't too far behind. Samsung shipped 8.1 million in Q2-2013, and is on a growth curve. To make matters worse for Apple, Samsung is capable of selling high-end tablets.