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Despite Apple's Record iPad Sales Android Tablets Close Gap with 39% Share in Q4

Last week Apple announced sales of 15.43 million iPads for the previous quarter representing a 111% increase compared to last year, but this hasn't stopped Android from gaining more ground in the global tablet market, Apple Insider reports.

According to analysis from Strategy Analytics, Apple holds the lead with 58% of the global market, while Android is getting ever closer with 39.1%. Microsoft only managed to hit 1.5%, as the software giant shipped around 400,000 units.

"The upcoming release of Windows 8 this year cannot come quickly enough for Microsoft, so its hardware partners can start competing more effectively in the tablet space," Strategy Analytics suggests.

The analysis also shows that global tablet shipments reached an all-time high of 26.8 million units in Q4 2011, rising by over 150% from the previous 10.7 million in Q4 2010.

With a portfolio including Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab, Android has proved to be a more versatile player in the sector, closing in on Apple this quarter. The numbers were augmented especially thanks to the holiday season which saw massive numbers of Amazon Kindle Fire being sold at the agreeable price of $199.