How is Android’s marketshare doing compared to the iPad? It’s a good question, since there’s a kind of network effect that means the more of a given kind of device are sold, the more likely people will be to make applications and media for it. Certainly, with the doors of the iPad swinging shut on non-iBooks in-app stores, Android is going to become a lot more important to e-book vendors in the future.

CNet has a brief piece looking at some statistics comparing tablet sales by operating system from the second quarter of 2010 to the same time period in 2011. It finds Apple’s tablet market share apparently fell from 94.3% to 61.3%. But, the article points out, the numbers might not tell the whole story. These are sell-in numbers—how many tablets are sold—but a more important figure may be sell-out, or what percentage of tablets actually made are sold. Apple has a history of selling iPads faster than it can make them, but is the same thing true for Android makers?

The article doesn’t offer any real answers, just speculating that so many major names in gadgetry are coming out with Android tablets that its market share just has to rise from all the noise and publicity Android is getting. I would like to think that it will also pick up market share from people disenchanted with Apple’s recent behavior, but I know better than to expect more than a small fraction of the population will even care about that.


  1. “These are sell-in numbers—how many tablets are sold” . I believe these are the numbers ordered by retailers, not how many have sold to actual customers. There is reason to believe that not too many non-iPads have sold to customers.

  2. The numbers, at least percentages like that, don’t mean anything anyway. Of course iPad was nearly 100% last year and has fallen… there are actually competitors now. And even if the iPad’s share has fallen, it doesn’t necessarily mean any sales were lost to an Android tablet. It’s very possible and even likely that the overall number of tablet sales simply increased.

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