Friday, November 15, 2013

First time, but not for long: Android tablet revenue passes that of iPads

It's been a while, but the forecase has always been that -- just as with handsets -- Android tablets would eventually overtake the iPad. Still, Apple shareholders and fans could still take comfort in the fact that in terms of revenue, Apple's hit tablet was still the king. That is no longer the case, according to Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, in a Friday CNNMoney report.

Huberty extrapolated her numbers using the IDC report from two weeks ago. That report said that Apple's tablet market share had fallen to its lowest point, dropping below 30 percent for the first time. Huberty calculated -- and wrote, in a note to clients on Friday -- that the iPad's share of global tablet revenues, vs. market share, had dropped below Android for the first time:
For the first time, Android devices accounted for a greater share of the market in revenue terms than iOS. Android revenue share reached 46.2% in 3Q13, for the first time exceeding iPad share of 45.6%. Android's unit share grew to 66.7% from 58.5% a year ago, largely driven by Samsung and Lenovo, while iPad share declined to 29.7% from 40.2%.
This is interesting on several levels, but is certainly not as troubling as it might seem.

For one, the fact is that iPad revenue has barely fallen below Android tablet revenue, despite the fact it has less than a 30 percent unit market share. This is a clear indicator of how much more Apple rake in per iPad vs. how much revenue Android OEMs get per tablets sporting Google's mobile platform.

In addition, the recently released iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display (AKA iPad mini 2) are sure hits, and will likely sway iPad unit market share in a positive manner.

Still, this is a milestone for Android tablets. It's just one that won't stand for long.

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