Apple's iPad practically created the tablet market when it hit shelves last spring, and the device continues to dominate even as competitors race to bring their own products to market, reports Strategy Analytics.
The iPad comprises nearly all of the tablets on the market today with a 95 percent market share. Strategy Analytics says 4.2 million iPads shipped in the third quarter, compared with just 100,000 Android-based tablets and 100,000 tablets using other operating systems. Total tablet shipments rose 26 percent to 4.4 million in the third quarter from 3.5 million in the second quarter.
"Apple has quickly leveraged its famous brand, an extensive retail presence and user-friendly design to develop the tablet segment into a multi-billion-dollar global business," Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics, said in the company's report. "Android, Microsoft, MeeGo, webOS, BlackBerry and other platforms are trailing in Apple's wake and they already have much ground to make up."
Android-based tablets had a meager 2 percent market share in tablets in the third quarter as manufacturers worked to bring products to market. Strategy Analytics expects that the launch of Samsung's Android-based Galaxy Tab with several U.S. operators and NTT DoCoMo in Japan will help the operating system gain a presence in the tablet market during the fourth quarter.
The United States was by far the world's largest tablet market during the quarter, but demand is also emerging in Western Europe and Asia, Strategy Analytics said.