Calcutta, March 3: Global sales of tablet PCs rose 68 per cent in 2013 over the previous year to 195.4 million units.
According to research firm Gartner, the low-cost tablets with smaller screens drove sales. Android became the top operating system with a 62 per cent market share, while iOS saw its share decline to 36 per cent from 52.8 per cent in 2012.
Analysts at Gartner said the emerging markets recorded a growth of 145 per cent in 2013, while mature markets grew 31 per cent.
“In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being offered within the budget of mainstream consumers. As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditised, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience, meaningful technology and ecosystem value — beyond just hardware and cost — to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.
The fall in Apple’s share indicated a demand driven by the improved quality of smaller devices from branded vendors at affordable rates.
The performance of Microsoft’s tablet improved in volumes terms, but its share remained small in 2013 at 2.1 per cent against 1 per cent in 2012.
Apple’s strong growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 helped it to maintain the top slot in terms of tablet sales. Samsung came in second with a 19.1 per cent share of the market.
The expansion of the Galaxy range of tablets along with strong marketing and promotion helped Samsung to narrow its gap with Apple. Among the vendors that have a less than 6 per cent share of the global tablet market, Lenovo did well in 2013, with sales growing 198 per cent.