3 million Windows tablets shipped during Q1

Microsoft has kept mum on how many Surface tablets it’s sold since the RT’s launch last autumn, but a new report offers some insight into how its tablet OS is faring.

According to figures from research firm Strategy Analytics, three million tablets running Windows were shipped during the first three months of 2013. Microsoft’s operating system nabbed 7.5 per cent of the global tablet OS market share, a significant feat considering it had zero tablet presence during the same time last year.

However, “very limited distribution, a shortage of top tier apps, and confusion in the market, are all holding back shipments” of Windows-based tablets, the report noted.

The news comes after Apple reported it moved 19.5 million iPads during the first quarter of 2013, significantly more than Q1 2012’s 11.8 million, likely thanks to the introduction of the more affordable iPad mini. Despite the increase in shipments, however, Apple’s market share dropped from 63.1 per cent last year to 48.2 per cent this year. That comes as Android-based tablets took 43.4 per cent of the tablet OS market share, with 17.6 million tablets running Google’s platform sold during the first three months of 2013.

The report also noted that while Q1 2012 saw a 146 per cent year-on-year increase in tablet sales, Q! 2013’s year-on-year growth shrunk to 117 per cent.