It’s hard to ignore the tablet category of computing devices. The iPad made them accessible to the mainstream with a relatively easy and familiar interface combined with sensible form factor. Since the first iPad releasing back in early 2010 we’ve seen the tablet segment explode with many platforms and players all wanting a piece of the pie.
Nearly a year and a half after the iPad launched, on June 1st 2011, we saw the first public preview of Microsoft’s answer to the tablet and the future of computing – Windows 8. So how are tablets running Windows 8 doing compared to Android and iOS? Let’s look.
Windows 8 was designed around the idea that a modern computing interface should look, work, and feel the same no matter what device or screen you’re using. Many weren’t sold on Microsoft’s “tablet OS” on their laptops or desktop machines, how’s it doing with tablets? Here’s the comparison between tablet operating systems by their marketshare for Q2 in 2013.
- Android – 67.0%
- BlackBerry – 0.2%
- iOS – 28.3%
- Windows –4.5%
- Others – 0.0%
Those marketshare figures go nearly hand-in-hand with number of devices shipped for the same time frame. Apple shipped 14.6 million tablet devices running iOS, tablets running Android shipped 34.6 million units, BlackBerry moved a whopping 0.1 million, and Windows clocked in 2.3 million tablets.
Is it nothing but cloudy days for Microsoft and tablets? No, not really. You need to remember a year ago no consumer could buy a tablet (running Windows 8, a much better tablet OS than Windows 7). Grabbing nearly 5% of the tablet market isn’t too bad when you consider that Windows 8 tablets first went on sale back at the end of October and mini-tablets (those in the 7 to 8-inch range) have barely began showing up in stores.
I tend to think once consumers can get Windows 8 in a mini-tablet form factor we’ll see a large uptick in pure tablets running Windows 8. I know for myself that’s the personal sweet spot of a device that is just a tablet and not hybrid or convertible machine. Then again, Google just released the updated Nexus 7 tablet at a lean $230 with all new specs. The competition is real.
Ed Bott put it best on Twitter when he said an alternate title could have been “Windows tablet share grows 10x in one year”. We agree.
What do you guys think of the numbers?