Figures released today by Gartner show that the iPad remained the best-selling tablet of 2013, selling more than the combined sales of the four runners-up.

Apple’s strong fourth quarter helped it to maintain the top position in the market in 2013 […]

Apple’s tablets remain strong in the higher end of the market and, Apple’s approach will continue to force vendors to compete with full ecosystem offerings, even in the smaller-screen market as the iPad mini sees a greater share … 

Apple sold 70.4M iPads last year (up from 61.4M in 2012), while Samsung, ASUS, Amazon and Lenovo only notched-up a little over 64M between them. Samsung took second place, with sales of 37.4M.

Gartner’s headline – and doubtless that of many reports to follow later today – focused on market share.

Gartner Says Worldwide Tablet Sales Grew 68 Percent in 2013, With Android Capturing 62 Percent of the Market

Android Grew 127 Percent and Reached the No. 1 Position in 2013

As we’ve said many times before, market share is not a particularly meaningful measure where Apple is concerned, for two reasons. Firstly, iOS vs Android is one company versus almost every other tablet maker (Windows being almost an irrelevance in this market). Second, Apple is not targeting the whole tablet market, only the top end of it. Seventy million extra low-end tablets dilutes Apple’s market share without costing the company a single cent in lost sales.

Which is why Apple boosted iPad sales by 9M while its market share fell from 52.8 percent to 36 percent.

The numbers did, though, emphasise the importance of the growth markets as the U.S. and Europe approach saturation point.

Gartner analysts said emerging markets recorded growth of 145 per cent in 2013, while mature markets grew 31 percent.

That’s a trend that will be reflected in Apple’s sales as much as those of any other tablet manufacturer.

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14 Responses to “Despite falling market share, iPads outsold next 4+ tablet makers combined in 2013”

  1. well, they have good publicity!


  2. At least discuss how Samsung has more than half of iPad’s business. That is the real number. I like how you set the story up to be an Apple is great story. Looks to me like people aren’t buying them like they used to.


  3. Apple lost 16.8% points!!! Thats huge!!


  4. Apple, +10 Million…Samsung, +~30 Million


  5. frankfantasy says:

    Apple reported selling 74.2 million iPads in 2013, which is 3.8 million more than Gartner’s number. Since Apple’s official number is subject to the scrutiny of SEC, I personally trust Apple’s number more. I’m not saying that Garner’s other numbers are all garbage, but from a single datapoint I want to question the overall credibility of their results.


  6. Jim Phong says:

    And what matters is the real profit.. not the number of units sold.
    Fact is all Android manufacturers combined can’t get even half the profit of Apple.


    • frankman91 says:

      It’s not only profit that matters, it’s whats trending. If Android tablets continue to trend and gain higher slices of the market share pie, they will swoop developers as well.

      And while many of these sales are lower end models, they are also selling more and more high end models. And don’t forget, for the most part a developer couldn’t care less what tablet is in your hand so long as you are running their app, so to an extent, market share is all that matters.

      You may have a os preference but the top-tear Android tablets are really nice, and the newer versions of Android are really smooth, quick.

      The more top devices they sell to non-cheap people, the more people that are willing to pay for premium apps, the more developers they swoop, continuing the trend.

      In my opinion (and I know I will be bashed for this), at this point Apple tables sell because they are trendy. If that is not the case, they wont sell. There sales could drop overnight if Kim Kardashian gets spotted with a Nexus tablet.


      • frankman91 says:

        Embarrassingly I used “there” instead of “their”, my public school education failed me! :-)


      • mpias3785 says:

        One thing to take into account, iOS still has far more platform optimized apps than Android. Even the majority of my friends that have and love their Android phones have iPads. They don’t like running phone optimized apps on tablet sized devices.


      • timkanejd says:

        I have an android unit. I’m mostly satisfied. Having said that,…

        If you are not a techie then Apple is the best way to go. If you have an apple tablet, you are running the most current operating system.

        The old saying is, “the poor man always pays twice” – because he buys on price and the first time he bought junk, so he buys another. If you buy android, you will buy another device, sooner than if you bought an apple.

        One of the most important apps for me is workflowy. Workflowy has a complete app on apple and the NEWEST (kitkat at this sitting) but not for any version older and I’m running Ice Cream sandwich. Now maybe it’s possible to upgrade, but I’m not techie enough to do that. Apple meanwhile upgrades all it’s customers automatically.

        If I have the money, and all other things are equal, I’m buying apple. Over the long term, it is a better value.