Smartphones aren’t the only advancing technology when it comes to Android support. Apparently, lower-end tablets that utilize it are on the rise – and putting the hurt to Apple in the process.

Research firm Gartner has reported that worldwide sales of tablets managed to rise 68 percent to 195.4 million units over the last year, a big increase from 2012’s 116.3 million. However, out of those, Apple tablets have seen a decline in market share, dropping from 52.8 percent to 36 percent in that time. By comparison, Android-based tablets have risen, going from 45.8 percent to 61.9 percent. The key point, it seems, is pricing of lower-end models.

“In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications,” said Garnet analyst Roberta Cozza. “As the Android tablet becomes highly commoditized, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience.”

Regardless of dwindling numbers, Apple continues to be an effective seller, with 70.4 million units shipping last year. “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,” said Ms. Cozza.

Remember, these market share numbers represent the share of tablets sold in that period of time, not the total installed base of tablets.

Source: Wall Street Journal