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Android Tablet Sales Narrow The iPad's Lead (UPDATE)

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ANDROID TABLETS VS IPAD

UPDATE:

Android's gains on the iPad may not have been as significant as Strategy Analytics initially reported in Business Week. According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung shipped two million Samsung Galaxy Tabs, rather than having sold two million devices. The WSJ transcript includes an exchange with a Samsung exec, who when pressed on an earnings call, said that actual sales were "quite small."

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They might be "bizarre," but Android tablets are gaining on the currently dominant Apple iPad.

According to a report from Strategy Analytics, while total tablet sales globally doubled in the fourth quarter, the loser was the iPad, which saw its market share drop from 96 percent to 75 percent, due mainly to increasing sales of Android tablets. Android tablets took 22 percent of sales, majorly up from the 2.3 percent they accounted for in the previous quarter.

Apple may not have to worry just yet--they still sold more iPads in the fourth quarter than they did in the third, shipping 7.3 million iPads for a 74 percent increase. Android devices went from 100,000 to 2.1 million units shipped.

With several different models available, many believe Android devices will only continue to gain as more varieties hit the market. Google provides free Android operating systems to manufacturers of tablets, a boon for hardware companies looking to enter the market.

The Samsung Galaxy tab was the main driver of Android sales, according to Strategy Analytics, due to its multi-country launch and heavy promotion by Samsung.

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