Android tablets move ahead of Apple iOS

Google’s Android mobile operating system took the biggest tablet OS market share in the first quarter of this year. A report from analysts IDC claims Android-based tablets accounted for 56.5% of all slates sold in the three-month period, while Apple’s iOS devices came in second, with 39.6% market share. Even so, Apple’s iPads range ensured it was still the biggest selling individual company.

"Sustained demand for the iPad mini and increasingly strong commercial shipments led to a better-than-expected first quarter for Apple," said Tom Mainelli, research director of tablets at IDC. "In addition, by moving the iPad launch to the fourth quarter of 2012, Apple seems to have avoided the typical first-quarter slowdown that traditionally occurred when consumers held off buying in January and February in anticipation of a new product launch in March."

Samsung took second spot when comparing supplier with supplier, shipping 8.8 million units over the same period. Microsoft moved into the top five for the first time – taking fifth spot – having shipped 900,000 of the Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets. However, other suppliers using Windows 8 or Windows RT on their devices struggled to make much of a success of it, selling the same number put together as Microsoft did on its own.

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