Apple’s clear domination of the tablet segment is not that clear anymore, since Android has found a way to increase its share. A new study involving data collected by Pew Internet & American Life Project, Android tablets now make out 48% of all tablets out there, with around 21% being due to Kindle Fire sales.

Meanwhile, the Apple iPad slipped from the 81% percentage of 2011 to a still respectable 52% this year, after the iPad 3 debut and its success. Amazon Kindle Fire may be excluded from these figures, since it’s not actually a 100% Android tablet, running a custom version of the OS, but the study did take the device into account. You should also know that this study doesn’t include the Nexus 7 or the new Kindle Fire HD lineup, so the percentage of Android tablets may be even bigger.

Such figures and proportions may be the exact reason why Apple is rumored to be hurrying to launch the iPad mini this year, or better said in the following weeks. With a new, cheaper and smaller tablet they will gain one more market segment: 7+ inch slates and possibly add another 10% or 20% to their 52% mentioned above.

  • Jo

    Android will never overtake apple as long as the developers are on apples side. It’s all about the money and apples paying the developers better and more customers buy on the apple market.

  • Anonymous Coward

    Yes but you see, especially new developers, trying their teeth at the mobile markets, might prefer Android because it’s cheaper to experiment with. Also, ad-based apps don’t really care about paying customers, they care about eyeball counts, and if tablet figures continue to go into the same direction, ad-based app developers will definitely prefer Android – for phones, it’s already three times more eyeballs on Android than on iPhone.

    You can see this in the evolution of the markets for the two platforms. While some time ago Apple’s market had a significantly larger number of apps, both paid and unpaid, the two markets are at least comparable right now, in terms of number of apps – paid apps are still more expensive on average on Apple’s market. This just shows that developers don’t just naturally favor Apple’s market, but go where there’s money to be made. Developers charging for apps will probably still prefer Apple’s market for some time, but as Android’s ecosystem becomes larger than Apple’s, not just in terms of devices in use but also in terms of money flowing through it, they will obviously follow the money.

    While I _am_ a developer, I don’t program for mobile devices professionally. For personal projects, I prefer Android. It’s more open, better documented for somebody not willing to enter Apple’s pricey developer program just for hobby projecs, and my feeling is that it’s easier to work with, as a developer. My guess is that many other developers feel the same way, since there’s better community support (IMO) for Android than there’s for iOS. So even if I ever get to program for mobile devices professionally, my first choice will obviously be Android.