updated 06:37 am EDT, Thu April 25, 2013
Windows 8 tablets off to slow start, Apple still dominant
New figures compiled by Strategy Analytics shows that Windows 8 OEM's shipped a combined total of 3 million Windows tablets in calendar Q1 for 2013. The tablet market reached an all-time high of 40.6 million branded tablet shipments for the quarter, a 117 percent increase from the 18.7 million sold for the same period in 2012. Apple retained a dominant 48 percent share of the branded market with 19.5 million tablets sold, singlehandedly shipping more than the total number of branded tablets that shipped globally in Q1 2012.
Windows 8 tablets captured a 7.5 percent share of the global branded tablet market, which includes sales of its own Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets, along with those from vendors including Lenovo, Samsung, Asus, Acer, Dell, HP and others. Strategy Analytics blamed the relatively low figure on limited distribution, a shortage of tiered apps and confusion in the market. A number of OEM's have complained that Windows 8 has done nothing to boost device shipments despite the hype from Microsoft that its new OS would deliver a 'no compromises' desktop or tablet experience.
Although Microsoft's full-powered Windows 8 tablet paradigm may need to be questioned, especially its dual UI, Windows 8.1 may help to help to address some of these concerns. There are indications in the code for the next version of Windows 8 that suggest Microsoft may address a couple of key user complaints about Windows 8 including the return of the 'Start' button and the ability to boot directly into the desktop mode. Microsoft and OEMs are also expected to start shipping 7 to 8-inch tablets in Q2, which will help to address a segment that comprises 50 percent of the total tablet market. [via Neowin]