Android tablet market share tumbles to 26.8%

Apple’s iPad 2 claimed an impressive 68.3% of the worldwide media tablet market in the second quarter of 2011, up from 65.7% in the previous quarter.

In contrast, Android tablet market share tumbled to 26.8% (down from 34% the previous quarter), as RIM entered the tablet space with its PlayBook – effectively grabbing 4.9% of the lucrative segment.

IDC analyst Tom Mainelli believes Android is likely to cede additional market share in 3Q11 (dropping to 23%) before it starts increasing its share again in 4Q11 (jumping to 25.9%) and beyond.

In addition, Mainelli says many consumers who were reluctant to buy a tablet will snap up HP’s  $99 TouchPads – with close to a million of the devices expected to ship into the channel before the end of the year. 

As a result, WebOS’s worldwide market share is forecast to reach 4.7% in 3Q11. However, with no clear plan to license or sell the OS to other vendors, IDC expects the WebOS market share to shrink back to zero by 1Q12.

“Media tablet shipments grew at a solid pace in the second quarter, led by continued strong demand for Apple products,” explained Mainelli. 

“We expect shipment totals to continue to grow in the third and fourth quarter, as additional vendors introduce more price-competitive Android products into the market and Apple works to maintain its dominance in the category.”

Unsurprisingly, Apple’s iOS share is projected to lead by more than 40 percentage points over Google’s Android for the remainder of the year, although IDC expects Apple’s share to fall closer to 50% by the end of the forecast period as manufacturers bring new tablets to market.