Tablet computers weren't anything new when Apple's first-generation iPad debuted in April 2010. But nobody could deny that Apple hit the ground running and effectively created the tablet market with a sleek and powerful device. At that point, and for a while following its launch, the iPad became the only tablet to own -- to the point where "iPad" became synonymous with "tablet" in the same way "Band-Aid" came to mean "every adhesive bandage."
But the iPad, being an Apple device, commanded a premium price. And although it took some time, competitors tinkered and advanced their own offerings at a cheaper price, so now the sensible options in the marketplace aren't just limited to one.
Last year, because of this, Apple's sales dominance fell to its chief opponent: Android.
According to a recent Gartner report, Android tablets commanded a whopping 61.9% of worldwide tablet sales in 2013, with an incredible 120.9 million units sold. Comparatively, iPad sales numbered just over 70 million and took 36% of global sales. Although nearly quadrupling its sales numbers from 2012, Microsoft came in at a distant third with 2.1% of sales, or slightly over 4 million sold. This marks the first time since the iPad's debut that Apple wasn't the leader in global market share, although the writing was on the wall in 2012 when the company took 52.8% of the market and Android had 45.8%.