Apple iPad Rules, Android Gains with Amazon Kindle, But PC Market Stays Worried

January 28, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Apple has sold  15.4 million iPads during the final quarter of 2011, meaning a 111-percent increase over its tablet sales from the same period last year.

In the meantime, as per the new numbers from Strategy Analytics, Android tablets have managed to increase their share of the tablet market by 10 percentage points during the same year. Kindle Fire worked wonders, of course.

If you have been listening, Apple CEO Tim Cook said during his company’s recent earnings call that iPad sales haven’t really been affected by the Amazon Kindle Fire, which is no doubt contributing heavily to the success of Android tablets.

Cook also admitted the iPad has had some cannibalization effect on sales of Macs, and he predicted that one day, the tablet market will be larger in volume than the PC market.

Apple has 57.6 percent market share and Android 39.1 percent. And the tablet space has grown by 150 percent between the end of 2010 and 2011. So Apple gains even if the market share was more even.

This is all good news, but not for PC makers. Check this out. The PC market contracted by around six percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, despite 20 percent growth by Apple’s own Mac line of computers, according to research firm Gartner. Basically PC sales continue to decline as people prefer mobile devices.

Apple will continue selling iPads, despite Kindle Fires, or other Android tablets for that matter. Kevin Tofel wrote last week about how Android 4.0, while it improves the Android tablet experience, still has a lot of glaring pain points.

Also, Android’s tablet-specific app library lags considerably behind Apple’s, and isn’t catching up anywhere near as fast as the market on the smartphone side.

But the Kindle Fire is a winner, with sales of as many as 6 million units through the end of 2011, which would make it the world’s best-selling Android tablet.

While PC makers sit in misery, people either prefer the iconic iPad, or bargain-priced netbooks for their basic computing needs, which Amazon is currently capitalizing on.

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