Small tablets gave overall sales a big boost last quarter
The tablet buying frenzy may have started with Apple's 9.7-inch iPad, but these days, consumers are more interested in slates with smaller screen sizes. According to Canalys , 68 percent of tablets shipped in the second quarter of 2013 had a screen size smaller than 9 inches, a buying a habit that may have helped Android nab a majority 53 percent share of the market compared to Apple's 43 percent.
Apple's share of tablets declined 14 percent last quarter, though tablet shipments as a whole grew 34 percent year-over-year. The second quarter alone saw 34 million additional slates enter the market place. Canalys believes the primary reason Apple's share is moving in the opposite direction of the market is simply due to economics.
"When Apple does decide to refresh its iPad range it will not experience the buzz of previous launches," said Canalys Analyst James Wang . "Tablets are now mainstream products and hardware innovation is increasingly difficult. With branded Android tablets available for less than $150, the PC market has never been so good for consumers, who are voting with their wallets."
Apple's least expensive tablet is its iPad mini, a 7.9-inch slate that starts at $329 MSRP, more than twice as much as some similar sized Android tablets from name brand vendors.