Android dominates tablet sales while iPad stumbles

20 hours ago

Google Nexus 7 tablet

Matt Nighswander / NBC News

Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet, unveiled last week.

Android tablets have officially solidified their status as the best-selling slates in the world, says a new report by Strategy Analytics. According to the market research group, approximately 34.6 million Android tablets were shipped in the second quarter of 2013. That?s up from 18.5 million shipped in Q2 2012. Apple, on the other hand, shipped 14.6 million units in the second quarter of 2013, down from 17 million in the same quarter last year.

Overall, Android now owns an impressive 67 percent of the global tablet market, an increase from 47.2 percent in the second quarter of 2012. Apple?s market share took a nosedive, falling from 47.2 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to 28.3 percent in the second quarter of 2013.

More: Top 10 tablets to buy (and avoid)

Of course, there is a fundamental difference between Android and Apple tablets in that there are several manufacturers that produce Android devices, such as Acer, Amazon, ASUS, Samsung, Google and others.

Tablet iOS chart

Strategy Analytics

As Strategy Analytics points out, the second quarter of 2012 also saw the launch of the iPad with Retina Display, which could explain why Apple?s shipments were higher last year than this year.

Microsoft, which launched its Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets in October and February, respectively, made a slight dent in the tablet market by moving 2.3 million units, bringing Redmond?s total tablet market share to 4.5 percent. Microsoft?s share may increase further, albeit for a brief period, due to the company?s decision to slash prices on its Surface RT.

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Chinese coast guard confronts Japanese vessels near disputed islands

China says ships from its newly formed coast guard confronted Japanese patrol vessels in waters surrounding disputed East China Sea islands on Friday.

The State Oceanic Administration that oversees the service says four of its ships ?sternly declared? China?s sovereignty over the islands called Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China, and demanded they leave the area. The uninhabited archipelago is controlled by Tokyo but also claimed by Beijing.

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It was not clear if any action resulted from the Chinese declaration. Such sovereignty declarations are usually made by hailing Japanese boats by radio and loudspeaker, as well as flashing shipboard signs.

Ships from Chinese civilian agencies have maintained a steady presence in the area since tensions spiked in September following Japan?s purchase of some of the islands from their private owners.

Those vessels are being replaced by ships from the coast guard, which was formally inaugurated on Monday and merges the resources of four former agencies. China says the move was intended to boost its ability to enforce its maritime claims, upping the stakes in an increasingly tense competition for marine territory and resources in waters off its eastern and southeastern coasts.

Chinese coast guard ships have also been spotted this week at Mischief Reef off the western Philippine coast, according to a confidential Philippine government report obtained by The Associated Press. China occupied the vast reef in 1995, sparking protests from rival claimant Manila.

China says virtually the entire South China Sea and its islands belong to it, a claim based on alleged historical precedents that are strongly contested by the Philippines, Vietnam and others.

While Beijing has mainly used civilian agencies to patrol its claims, the new coast guard gives it greater latitude to do so by centralizing operations in a single body. The body is nominally under civilian control, but closely co-ordinates with the increasingly formidable Chinese navy that recently added an aircraft carrier to its fleet.

Coast guard ships are mainly repurposed naval or commercial vessels and are equipped with light armaments such as machine-guns and deck cannons, unlike in the past when most of China?s patrol craft had no weaponry.

Japan has already expressed renewed unease about China?s military and maritime activity near the disputed islands, scrambling jets on Wednesday to keep watch on a Chinese Y-8 early warning plane flying over international waters between Japan?s southern Okinawa island and an outer island relatively close to the disputed area in the East China Sea.

The Chinese Defence Ministry issued a statement defending the right of its aircraft to operate in the area.

Around the same time the Chinese fighter jet was sighted, Japan?s coast guard reported the appearance of the four coast guard vessels near the disputed islands.

Japan?s coast guard said the four Chinese craft were seen early Wednesday just outside Japanese territorial waters.

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Surveying the saviors: A look at BlackBerry 10 and Lumia sales so far

BlackBerry 10 Lumia Smartphone Sales

BlackBerry posted dismal fiscal first-quarter results on Friday that sent its stock plummeting more than 25%. The May quarter marked the first full quarter of BlackBerry Z10 sales and the quarter in which the Q10 launched, but BlackBerry still shed 4 million net subscribers. Nokia has fared a bit better in recent quarters, but its new Lumia phones are still struggling to gain traction in a market dominated by Android and the iPhone. BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone are intended to be BlackBerry and Nokia?s respective saviors, but this clash of the bantams is slow going thus far. In an effort to illustrate the companies? progress to date, mobile analyst Benedict Evans charted BlackBerry 10 and Lumia shipments to date compared to legacy platforms.

[More from BGR: iOS 7 has already been jailbroken]

[More from BGR: BlackBerry: ?Nowhere to go but down?]

As can be seen on the charts above, Nokia is clearly much further along in the transition from its old Symbian platform to Windows Phone. The bad news, however, is that Lumia shipments currently total only about a quarter of Nokia?s smartphone shipments three years ago.?BlackBerry isn?t quite as far along with BB10, having shipped just?2.7 million BlackBerry 10 smartphones last quarter compared to a quarterly peak of about 14 million units just two years ago.

Both companies face a steep uphill climb as they struggle to compete with Apple, which now has about 400 million active iOS devices in use, and Google, which has activated more than 800 million Android devices to date.

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