Could the iPad really own 85% of the tablet market?

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Well now, here’s something to nibble on. New research suggests that Apple now 85% of the global tablet market — around 20% more than research company Gartner predicts it will have by the end of this year.

The research, from web-monitoring company Pingdom uses data from global web usage on tablets. And it makes for some sorry reading for anyone in the anti-Apple brigade.

The Cupertino-based tech giant’s tablet is completely dominant, laying claim to around 85.7% of the market. Android devices meanwhile only make up around 13% of the global tablet space with BlackBerry’s PlayBook and various “other devices” making up the rest.

Now, you might think that sales would be a more accurate reflection of the space, but sales figures only tell you what people have bought, not what devices they’re using. It’s also worth bearing in mind that tablets are pretty much designed to be connected devices.

Apple is strongest in developed markets including the United Kingdom (93.1%), Australia (93.2%), Ireland (90.2%), New Zealand (90.6%), Sweden (91.2%), Norway (92.7%), Denmark (95.0%), Iceland (93.6%), Switzerland (91.7%). In the tiny principality of Monaco, it lays claim to 96% of the market.

There does appear to be a glimmer of hope for Android. It’s much stronger against iOS in a number of emerging market countries, including: Thailand (iOS 76.5%, Android 23.5%), Taiwan (iOS 79.2%, Android 20.8%), Saudi Arabia (iOS 75.3%, Android 24.3%), Brazil (iOS 79.8%, Android 20.2%), Argentina (iOS 72.4%, Android 25.0%), Poland (iOS 77.0%, Android 23.0%), South Africa (iOS 74.5%, Android 25.1%) and Russia (iOS 77.8%, Android 22.2%).

That’s hardly surprising though, when you consider that the proliferation of cheap Android-based devices over the past year or so.

Advocates of diversity in the Tablet market will also be buoyed by the recent announcements of Google’s Nexus and Microsoft’s Surface. As Pingdom notes however “they will have to sell an awful lot of tablets to upset the current balance, considering how well the iPad is selling”.

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