Apple Online Store“Google Inc.’s Android software boosted its share of tablet computers almost 10-fold in the fourth quarter, narrowing the lead of Apple Inc.’s iPad, market researcher Strategy Analytics said,” Pavel Alpeyev and Hugo Miller report for Bloomberg.

“Android devices captured 22 percent of global tablet shipments in the three months to Dec. 31, up from 2.3 percent in the preceding quarter, the Boston-based researcher said in a statement today,” Alpeyev and Miller report. “The iPad accounted for 75 percent of shipments in the period, down from about 95 percent, it said.”

Alpeyev and Miller report, “A wider range of cheaper devices with Google features like YouTube and Google Maps will probably erode the iPad’s market dominance, said Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics. Its share of the global tablet market will probably drop to 67 percent this quarter, he said. ‘Apple’s volumes will continue to go up, but market share will inevitably go down,’ Mawston said in an interview… ‘If you were to ask me in two years time, will Apple have less than 50 percent of the global tablet market, I think that’s a certainty,’ Mawston said.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The only certainty we see is that Strategy Analytics doesn’t know how to and/or what to measure. In Strategy Analytics’ press release for their big report, Mawston himself states, “The Samsung Galaxy Tab was the main driver of Android’s success.” However Samsung VP Lee Young-hee admitted that the Galaxy Tab’s “sell-in was quite aggressive and this first quarterly result was quite, you know, fourth-quarter unit [figure] was around two million. Then, in terms of sell-out, we also believe it was quite small.”

In other words, Samsung stuffed the channel and Strategy Analytics is counting Galaxy Tabs that are sitting on retailers shelves the exact same way they are counting Apple iPads that are actually sold to end-users.

When you don’t know what you’re counting and/or what to count, it’s possible to come up with anything. We’ve iCal’ed Mawston and we’ll check back on January 31, 2013, on that you can bet. We’ll see if Strategy Analytics cleans up their mess by then and can come up with figures that actually mean something. We’ll also see if their numbers match those from other firms and if Apple has less than 50 percent of the global tablet market on that date.