October 24, 2011

Since Apple launched the iPad in 2010, the tablet has wildly popular among financial executives, and most Wall Street firms have launched their own apps for their clients.

But news has now emerged that Apple's iPad market share tumbled from 96% to 67% in the third quarter, mainly due to a sharp rise in the number of tablets sold running Google's Android software. Android-powered tablet computers accounted for 27 percent of global sales during the last quarter, jumping from 2.3 percent a year earlier, according to Strategy Analytics.

Last week, as it stepped up efforts to bite into Apple's territory, Google unveiled its latest version of Android, named Ice Cream Sandwich, which is its first offering for both phones and tablets. "This move sees Google and their Android operating system, which is already number one in the smartphone industry, make serious inroads into the tablet industry," Darren Hayes, a professor at Pace University's Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems in New York commented. "Google's progress up until recently was stymied by an operating system that was developed for smartphones not working as effectively on larger tablet screens. That weakness has largely dissipated. With the introduction of Google's new operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, the company is introducing a new holographic user interface as well as improvements in their widgets and multitasking functionality. These improvements have obviously not gone unnoticed by consumers and perhaps the ability to run multitask may have hindered some of Apple's growth," Hayes said.

Android's growth in the tablet industry might just mean that Wall Street firms who have been focused on apps for the iPad should now seriously consider stepping up developement for -- and heavily promoting -- Android-friendly tablet applications.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in ...