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Android sales surpassed the iPad in 2013

2013 was a record year for tablets
2013 was a record year for tablets
Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Samsung

When Amazon's Kindle Fire debuted in the fall of 2011 it soon rocketed to number two and showed that an android-based tablet can compete with Apple's iPad. In the 2+ years since then we wondered will this finally be the year that android-based tablets finally overtake the iPad. According to the latest numbers by the research firm Gartner 2013 was that break out year for android-based tablets when they dominated the market with 62% of new sales worldwide.

“In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications,” writes research director Roberta Cozza. “As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditized, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value — beyond just hardware and cost — to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins.”

While overall it was a good year for android-based tablets as a whole, it wasn't good news for some of the individual manufacturers. While Samsung's share grew to slightly over 19% of total sales, Seattle's Amazon slipped to fourth place with just less than 5% sales. So, breaking the numbers down by individual manufacturers Apple still holds the number one spot with almost double the sales (70,400,159) as that of Samsung (37,411,921).

"Although there were few models available last year, the hybrid form factor was the fastest growing category in 2013. Hybrid ultramobiles attracted users' attention because the keyboard offers better use of productivity applications and benefits from a tablet form factor," said Ms, Cozza.

Even though they still lag far behind, Redmond-based Microsoft also saw a large increase in sales. Their sales went from 1,162,435, in 2012, to 4,031,802, in 2013, for almost a 300% increase. That increase gave Microsoft a 2.1% market share on the worldwide market. That still makes Microsoft a distant third but considering they were at 1% the previous year that is a big year.