The firm claims Android increased its share to 30 percent, up from just 2.9 percent a year ago, when Apple claimed 94.3 percent of the tablet market. But Daring Fireball's John Gruber isn't buying it.
Looks like those numbers are for units shipped, not units sold. Except that for Apple those numbers are one and the same, because they’re selling iPads as fast as they can make them. Judging by Google’s own numbers for Android OS versions in use, it sure seems like a lot of Android 3 tablets are sitting on store shelves.Gruber points out that same research firm, Strategy Analytics, placed iPads at a 75 percent share in the holiday quarter last year -- but it only looked at shipped products. Not those actually in the hands of customers.
In its earnings call earlier this week, Apple COO Tim Cook noted that at the end of the June quarter "we were still selling every unit we could make during the quarter and that was the situation as we ended the quarter."
During the same call, Tim Cook had much to say about how Android "activation" numbers are calculated versus iOS:
I think the Android activation number is a difficult one to get our hands around, because unlike our numbers, which you can kind of go to our data sheet and you can add the iPods and the iPads and make a reasonable approximation of the iPod touch which spans over half of our iPod sales. You can quickly see that in the June quarter that we sold over 33 million iOS devices and across time, as Peter mentioned in his opening comments, we are now over 222 million cumulative iOS devices. And so we think this is incredible. And so our numbers are very straight forward, they're transparent and they're reported quarterly.With Apple selling record numbers of iOS devices, and recording record profits, the Apple brass don't seem too concerned with Android's tablet numbers.
Regardless, with the public buying every iPad Apple can make, there doesn't seem to be much Apple needs to do -- other than build more iPads.