Android Tablets in Q4’11: Shipments Tripled, Accounted for 39% of Shipments


Strategy Analytics took some time to crunch some numbers in the tablet space and came up with very encouraging Q4’11 numbers for Android. First of all, Android tablet shipments tripled from 3.1 million units in Q4’10 to 10.5 million in Q’11.

This is, of course, due to many OEMs jumping into the tablet game in 2011 and looking toward Android for their software needs just as most do with phones. The holiday season introduced a great deal of new tablets, including the oft-desired Amazon Kindle Fire.

They also found that Android shipments accounted for 39% of the share in this quarter, up from just over 29% in the same quarter last year. They attribute Android’s growth to cheap, yet highly marketable options such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet. Apple’s iPad took 57.6% of the share and that was down from 68.2% a year ago.

It’ll be interesting to see if Android’s momentum can sustain and seriously attack iOS as it has been able to do in the phone space. Attractive pricing and a good software ecosystem are just two of the many things that need to be maintained in order for Android to have a chance and it would appear that both facets are doing quite alright.

It’s worthy to note that when referring to Android tablets, the number of items shipped are just that – shipped to retailers. With the iPad, shipped is considered sold. Find the full press release below.

Strategy Analytics: Android Captures Record 39 Percent Share of Global Tablet Shipments in Q4 2011

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments reached 27 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011. Android jumped to a record 39 percent global share, while Apple iOS maintained its strong leadership at 58 percent.

Peter King, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global tablet shipments reached an all-time high of 26.8 million units in Q4 2011, surging 150 percent from 10.7 million in Q4 2010. Demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users remains strong. Apple shipped a robust 15.4 million iPads worldwide and maintained its strong market leadership with 58 percent share during the fourth quarter of 2011. Apple shrugged off the much-hyped threat from entry-level Android models this quarter.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Android captured a record 39 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q4 2011, rising from 29 percent a year earlier. Global Android tablet shipments tripled annually to 10.5 million units. Dozens of Android models distributed across multiple countries by numerous brands such as Amazon, Samsung, Asus and others have been driving volumes. Android is so far proving relatively popular with tablet manufacturers despite nagging concerns about fragmentation of Android’s operating system, user-interface and app store ecosystem.”

Other findings from the research include:

  • Global tablet shipments hit 66.9 million units in full-year 2011, surging 260 percent from 18.6 million in full-year 2010. Consumers are increasingly buying tablets in preference to netbooks and even entry-level notebooks or desktops;
  • Microsoft captured a niche 1 percent global tablet share in Q4 2011. The upcoming release of Windows 8 this year cannot come quickly enough for Microsoft, so its hardware partners can start competing more effectively in the tablet space.

Exhibit 1: Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q4 2011 1

Global Tablet OS Shipments (Millions of Units) Q4 ’10 Q4 ’11
Apple iOS 7.3 15.4
Android 3.1 10.5
Microsoft 0.0 0.4
Others 0.3 0.5
Total 10.7 26.8
Global Tablet OS Marketshare % Q4 ’10 Q4 ’11
Apple iOS 68.2% 57.6%
Android 29.0% 39.1%
Microsoft 0.0% 1.5%
Others 2.8% 1.9%
Total 100.0% 100.0%
Growth Year-over-Year % N / A 150%

The full report, Global Tablet OS Market Share: Q4 2011, is published by the Strategy Analytics Tablet & Touchscreen (TTS) service, details of which can be found here:

About Strategy Analytics:

Strategy Analytics is a global, independent research and consulting firm. The company is headquartered in Boston, USA, with offices in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea and China. Visit for more information.

1 Shipments refer to sell-in. Numbers are rounded. The definition of tablet does not include e-book readers.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Android will seriously attack iOS until win8 is released, which is the almost perfect is for tablets and PCs, by then we have to see.

    1. First Win8 hurdle to tackle:  chopping the $1000 price in half.

      1. That’s true, but eventually Win8 tablets should be able to run on the same hardware as Androis tablets. I still think for a phone although very smooth, Win8 is not ideal, and for a desktop PC it’s not the best either (especially if the desktop has no touch screen), I installed the early beta and I am not even using the metro UI just switched to the OG screen with start menu and actual windows.

  2. “1 Shipments refer to sell-in. Numbers are rounded. The definition of tablet does not include e-book readers.”

    Now if they would only report the number of Android tablets that were actually SOLD to CUSTOMERS. They’ve copied every thing else Apple does, so why not copy Apple by reporting the number of tablets that actually made it into the hands of customers?? Millions of Android tablets sitting on store shelves and in warehouses….way to boost those market share “numbers”…

    1. Watch out folks. Siri must be down today so the iFools are out looking for something to do since their devices do nothing else.

      1. Translation: I really don’t have a valid response to the point that was made so I’ll make some juvenile statement about Siri….

      2. Except for his handle, he’s right.  And Android tablets are probably seeing much larger returns.  

        The diversity of Android OEMs means there will always be crappy Android products out there, and some will just leave the sales channel the same way they got there instead of finding loving homes.  And also great products that Apple would never have thought of.

      3. Don’t feed the trolls, it only makes them rock their short bus harder. 

  3. And just as the phones went so goes the tablets. Really great thing for devs with all the amazing things going on in Java. Write Java for the leading mobile platform and servers in your favorite JVM language and framework all in the same IDE. And even share some code between the two at times. You just can’t beat that.

  4. I hope to see more music instrument and recording apps in the Android Marketplace. That is one area iPad absolutely owns right now. It makes me want to buy an iPad or iTouch … iStomp looks very cool. I hope that Digitech pedal comes to Android soon.

  5. This is short lived. A cheaper iPad 2 along side the iPad 3 will return iPad’s lost share. Guaranteed!

    1. You keep thinking that. 

      1. And, I suppose, you Think Different!

  6. It’s my impression that there is not an abundance of Android tablets (I am not talking about nook or kindle fire here).  Let take Target for example because that’s where I most shop. I stop by their tablet counters. They show Acer Iconia A500 model, sometimes Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab on the floors, but not too many boxes in their glass cages. 

    Does that mean manufacturers do not ship enough tablet to retail store, or are the retail won’t stock too many tablets?  Or it’s just Target ?

    While for iPad. You can just about to get an iPad from any store from Costco, Best Buys to Target, K-mart, Walmart. It’s like Apple flood the market with iPad.

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