Yes the prices are fluctuating up and down like a yoyo. Yes Windows RT tablets got off to a chilly start. There is no disputing these things. Still it seems consumers have been quick to jump on good deals when they have had the opportunity. A Strategy Analytics report on the tablet market has revealed that Windows tablets account for 7.5% of devices shipped in Q1 2013. That isn’t so bad for a fledgling platform delivering a completely new OS and UI.
Exhibit 1: Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q1 2013 (Preliminary)^2 Global Branded Tablet OS Shipments (Millions of Units) Q1 '12 Q1 '13 Apple iOS 11.8 19.5 Android 6.4 17.6 Windows 0.0 3.0 Others 0.5 0.4 Total 18.7 40.6 Global Branded Tablet OS Marketshare % Q1 '12 Q1 '13 Apple iOS 63.1% 48.2% Android 34.2% 43.4% Windows 0.0% 7.5% Others 2.7% 1.0% Total 100% 100% Growth Year-over-Year % 146% 117%
The bad news is the report cites very limited distribution, a shortage of top tier apps, and confusion in the market, are all holding back shipments. The good news is that Microsoft has already seen twice the amount of success in the tablet market as it has in the smartphone market. This should also be enough to kickstart a second wave of developer support in creating apps for the Windows 8 & RT platforms. The introduction of $200 priced tablets and devices at the end of 2013 will only serve to continue Microsoft’s growth in the market.