Both Apple- and Windows-branded tablets lost market share in the second quarter, each retreating in the face of increased pressure from Android, a market research analyst said today.
In preliminary estimates for the quarter ending June 30, U.K.-based Strategy Analytics pegged Apple's share of the global tablet market at 28.3 percent, a dramatic decline from 47.2 percent the year before. When so-called "white box" tablets, which are almost exclusively powered by Android, are excluded, Apple's share fell to 40.4 percent from 48.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
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Windows' share of the branded tablet market also slipped in the second quarter compared to the first, falling to 6.4 percent from 7.4 percent. With white-box tablets included, however, its year-over-year share jumped nine-fold, from a paltry 0.5 percent in 2012's second quarter to 4.5 percent in 2013.
Windows tablets had only one way to go when compared year-over-year, as Windows 8 and Windows RT, the two tablet-appropriate operating systems from the Redmond, Wash. company, were not released until late in the third quarter of 2012.
By any measurement, Android solidified its first place position. Of the entire tablet market, including white-box units -- which comprised 37 percent of all shipments -- Android's share climbed to 67 percent from 2012's 51.4 percent. Strip out the white box tablets and Android's increase, while on a slower pace, was still impressive: 52.9 percent in the second quarter, up from 43.4 percent in the first three-month stretch of 2013.
Peter King, an analyst with Strategy Analytics, attributed Apple's share decline to a lack of new tablet models, echoing others who have pointed out that the Cupertino, Calif. company has not released a new tablet or even refreshed an existing tablet since late in 2012.
"We may see Apple get back on track later this year if, as everyone expects, they launch new models," said King in an interview Tuesday. "We may start to see a bit of fight back in them."
Windows' problem in tablets has also been well documented.
"They screwed up in terms of sales and marketing," said King, referring to the 2012-13 launch of the Microsoft-made Surface RT and Surface Pro. "They excluded the vast majority of the world from buying it. People want to see a tablet, feel it, touch it, want their friends to buy it."
Instead, Microsoft sold the Surface RT in 2012, and -- starting in early 2013 -- the more expensive Surface Pro, primarily online with a bit of help from its small-sized U.S. and Canadian retail chain.
Microsoft still overwhelmingly relies on its OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners for Windows-powered hardware. They have also been dogged by sluggish sales, and virtually all have either declined to support Windows RT or abandoned the scaled-down OS designed exclusively for tablets.
Nor have Windows tablet prices been competitive. "The $349 is where they should have started," said King, of this month's $150 price cut to the Surface RT line, a move that forced Microsoft to take a $900 million charge against earnings as it accounted for the discount and the overstock that drove it.