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Android tablets disappoint but Apple powers on

Simon Quicke

The tablet market failed to meet analyst expectations last quarter as a result of a sharp drop in worldwide shipments of Android based products.

Apple continued to sell large numbers of iPads but a poor performance by its main rival platform saw shipments drop from the end of last year to Q1 by 38.4%, tablets.jpg according to IDC latest numbers.

Overall the tablet market continues to grow year-on-year at an impressive 120% according to the analyst house but the performance of Android will be a concern for some in the market.

"Apple reasserted its dominance in the market this quarter, driving huge shipment totals at a time when all but a few Android vendors saw their numbers drop precipitously after posting big gains during the holiday buying season," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices at IDC.

"Apple's move to position the iPad as an all-purpose tablet, instead of just a content consumption device, is resonating with consumers as well as educational and commercial buyers. And its decision to keep a lower-priced iPad 2 in the market after it launched the new iPad in March seems to be paying off as well," he added.

On the horizon the analyst house expects more competition from Apple in the form of a lower priced and larger screen sized Amazon tablet and the entry into the market of a Google/ASUS product. 
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