Mobile devices are the wave of the future, but these are not limited to just smartphones.  Analysts at Gartner recently released their tablet sales numbers for 2013, and property managers across the hospitality industry should consider these statistics when building mobile sites moving forward.

According to Gartner, 195 million tablets were sold in 2013 with Android officially grabbing the top spot from iPad with 62% of the market share.  There were 121 million Android tablets sold during the calendar year, while Apple sold only 70 million iPad tablets for a 36% share.

This is a drastic change from the 2012 numbers where Apple led the tablet category with nearly 53% of sales on 61 million units, compared to Android at nearly 46% with 53 million tablets sold.

Although Gartner analysts believe that “Low-end, smaller screen” devices are fueling tablet sales these days, along with a large number of first-time buyers, that will not be the answer in the future.

“In 2013, tables became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications,” writes Gartner’s research director Roberta Cozza.  “As the Android Tablet market becomes highly commoditized, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value – beyond just hardware and cost – to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins.”

The chart below shows the individual brand leaders among tablet sales.  As you can see from the figure, Apple still leads the way with 36% of all sales on its 70 million tablets sold.


What All of This Means for You

Despite companies continuing to produce smaller screens and higher specifications, tablets will not overtake smartphones as the mobile device of choice anytime soon.  However, it is important to make sure your mobile website is responsive to a variety of screen sizes, so that it can be accessed across a wide variety of platforms.

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