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Research: 4.4 Million Tablets Shipped In Q3 2010

Research firm Strategy Analytics has examined the tablet marketplace, with over 4 million devices shipped in the third calendar quarter of 2010 -- and Apple's 95 percent marketshare making it tough for competitors.
As touch tablets become an increasingly viable avenue for mobile game developers, research firm Strategy Analytics is taking a look at the shape of that marketplace, finding that over 4 million tablets shipped in the third calendar quarter of 2010, ending September 31st. Perhaps unsurprisingly, on the back of Apple's iPad success, the company's captured 95 percent of the tablet marketplace, leaving Android in second place. Overall, the tablet marketplace grew 26 percent from one quarter to the next, reaching 4.4 million units. "The tablet wars are up and running," says Strategy Analytics director Neil Mawston. He credits Apple's market dominance to brand recognition, design and "an extensive retail presence," all of which helped the tech giant lead the way for tablets to become a "multi-billion dollar global business." "Android, Microsoft, MeeGo, webOS, Blackberry and other platforms are trailing in Apple's wake and they already have much ground to make up," adds Mawston. Specifically, the Android OS had only 2 percent of the global tablet marketshare in the third quarter -- but more hardware models entering the market are expected to help it grow, according to Mawston. The U.S. was "by far" the largest market for tablets globally, but Strategy Analytics sees demand emerging and beginning to grow in Western Europe and Asia. As of October of this year, Apple had sold more than seven million iPads since the device's introduction in April, the first wave in an exploding market that analysts expect to encompass 54 million devices by the end of 2011. It holds brand-new opportunities for game developers, as games are the second most popular category on Apple's App Store -- although a recent survey from Nielsen shows that there's still more addressable market to reach. 32 percent of iPad owners have never downloaded any apps, according to Nielsen.

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