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11:34 AM
Thomas Claburn, InformationWeek
Thomas Claburn, InformationWeek
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Android Takes Top Tablet OS Crown

Android's rise presents a threat to Apple in the long term and hurts Microsoft right now.

Since its introduction in 2010, Apple's iPad has dominated the tablet market, a market that it remade in its own image. But sales of tablets running Google's Android operating system have now outpaced tablets running Apple's iOS.

Globally, Android tablet sales in 2013 reached almost 121 million, up from 53 million in 2012, an increase of 127%, according to IT research firm Gartner. Sales of Apple's iPad and iPad Mini came to 70 million during this period, an increase of 36%. That's just over half the overall tablet market growth rate of 68%. Apple's iPad is not keeping up with the pace of the market.

At the end of 2013, Android tablet sales accounted for 62% of the market, while iOS tablets represented 36%.

Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, characterized 2013 as the year tablets went mainstream by being affordable and functional. Cozza, in a statement, stressed that tablet vendors will have to focus on creating value as a way to combat commoditization.

Apple, however, remains the leading tablet maker. It sold over 70 million tablets in 2013, almost twice as many as the second largest tablet maker, Samsung.

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