According to research from Strategy analytics, overall global shipments of tablet PCs increased to 27 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Android, while still trailing behind Apple iOS tablets, captured 39% of the market share.
"Global tablet shipments reached an all-time high in Q4 2011, surging 150% from 10.7 million in Q4 2010," Peter King, Director at Strategy Analytics, said in the report. "Demand for tablets among consumer, business, and education users remains strong."
When looking at the entire year, global tablet shipments reached 66.9 million units, which was a 260% increase from 18.6 million in full-year 2010. Of the 26.8 million tablets shipped in Q4 2011, 15.4 million of those were iPads (57.6%), and 10.5 million were operating on Android (39.1%).
Microsoft shipped 400,000 units, and 500,000 tablets were operating on another system. The research noted though, that Microsoft's 1.5% share may increase with the upcoming release of Windows 8.
"Android captured a record 39% share of global tablet shipments in Q4 2011, rising from 29% a year earlier. Global Android tablet shipments tripled annually to 10.5 million units," added Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. "Dozens of Android models distributed across multiple countries by numerous brands such as Amazon, Samsung, Asus, and others have been driving volumes. Android is so far proving relatively popular with tablet manufacturers despite nagging concerns about fragmentation of Android's operating system, user-interface, and app store ecosystem."