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Android holds 20 percent of tablet market, says ABI Research

Firm claims high number of Android tablets, prices and fragmentation continue to allow Apple to dominate

The latest data from market intelligence company ABI Research shows Android occupying about 20 percent of the tablet market, according to eWeek. Although a respective figure, Apple’s iPad still dominates the rest of the market pie.

ABI Research provided insights as to why Android has yet to overtake Apple. “Many vendors have introduced media tablets, but none are separating themselves from the pack to pose a serious threat to Apple,” said ABI Research Mobile Devices Director Jeff Orr. He also indicated that many competing products have launched at higher prices than the iPad, which made them less appealing on store shelves. The Motorola Xoom is a great example where its launch price was as high as $800 in the U.S. whereas an iPad 2 could be had for just $500.

A second disadvantage for Android is its fragmentation, a problem that Google is well aware of. This has resulted in a wide variety of Android-based tablets in the market, which ABI Research sees as more harmful than helpful. “This will certainly help bolster year-over-year growth for the category,” said Orr, but also stated that it “creates a negative perception in the minds of the mass consumer audience” with regards to the support and lifespan of each tablet model.

The supposed 20 percent Android market share is in contrast with numbers from Strategy Analytics, which found Android holding 30 percent of the market as of Q2 2011 with respect to global shipment numbers. Most analysts, however, are still likely to agree that Google’s Android-based platform will continue to rise in the tablet world as chipmakers ready their next generation of processors.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-08-16 (Update: 2012-05-26)