Sales of Android powered tablet devices grew 127% in 2013, taking the leading position in the tablet operating system market for last year, according to research by analyst firm Gartner.
The report found that worldwide sales of tablets increased by 68% in 2013, with a total of 195.4 million units sold throughout the year.
According to Gartner, this sudden increase in Android uptake is due to the low price and increased availability in tablets produced by brands such as Dell and Samsung attracting first time buyers.
Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, said: “We’ve seen exceptional growth from the lower end of the tablet market.”
She continued: “There are branded vendors that are putting into the market better quality, lower end, smaller screened tablets.”
Gartner also pointed out that many ‘white box’ vendors have released affordable tablets aimed at emerging markets, while sales are in decline in mature markets as the renewal cycle of higher end products increases.
Cozza said: “We’ve seen a big shift in the share of the two main OS powering tablets going in favour of Android because of the shift towards the lower end, so we are seeing a lot more users being able to afford a decent tablet.”
Although Android knocked iOS off of the operating system top spot, iOS devices grew in the last quarter of 2013, and Apple still sold the most devices over the 2013 period than other vendors, which Samsung coming a close second.
According to Gartner, the tablet market is set to continue growing in 2014. Cozza said: “There is an opportunity for hybrid ultramobiles to marry the functionality of a PC and a tablet, and they will also prove to be an attractive alternative replacement product among businesses.”