Ben Swinnerton, Herald Sun

Despite sliding almost 30 percent, Apple’s iPad still leads triple-digit growth in tablet demand, finds research released Thursday. Android-based rivals, although growing to 30 percent of tablet sales, still offer only ‘patchy’ alternatives.

 

Apple shipped 9.3 million iPads during the second quarter, its share of tablet sales falling to 61 percent, down from 94 percent registered during the same period of 2010, according to Strategy Analytics. However, “no Android vendor yet offers a blockbuster model to rival the iPad, and demand for many Android vendors’ products remains patch,” said Director Neil Mawston.

Overall, global tablet shipments reached 15 million units, a 331 percent increase over the second quarter of last year. Android-based tablets from Samsung, Motorola and others led a steep market share increase for the Google software, rising to 30.1 percent of the worldwide market, up from just 2.9 percent in 2010, according to the research firm.

Microsoft led that growth, controlling nearly five percent of the tablet market, up from nothing in 2010. RIM’s QNX-powered PlayBook tablet captured just 3.3 percent of the market after what Strategy Analytics described as a “lackluster launch” hurt by design issues.

The rumored entry of Amazon into the tablet market “will bring fresh excitement and buzz” to Android rivals, however the Kindle maker needs to “deliver a truly standout offering if it really wants to make headway against the popular iPad,” Mawston concludes.

 

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