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Windows 8 tablets hit 3 million shipped in first quarter

Microsoft and PC makers shipped a little more than 3 million tablets in the first quarter, according to preliminary results from Strategy Analytics.

Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet.
Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet. Brooke Crothers

Microsoft and its partners have cracked the tablet market, according to a report from Strategy Analytics.

Windows 8 tablets (which include Windows RT) took 7.5 percent of the global tablet market based on operating system (OS) market share in the first quarter, Strategy Analytics said.

PC makers (including Microsoft) shipped 3.4 million units worldwide in Q1 2013, "for a niche 7.5 percent share," Neil Shah, a Strategy Analytics analyst, said in a response to an e-mail query.

But the market research firm said things could have been better.

"Very limited distribution, a shortage of top tier apps, and confusion in the market, are all holding back shipments," Strategy Analytics said in a statement.

In total, global branded tablet shipments reached an all-time high of 40.6 million units in Q1 2013, surging 117 percent from 18.7 million in Q1 2012.

Apple's iPad took the largest share (see chart at bottom), claiming a 48.2 percent share on 19.5 million units shipped. But that was down from a 63 percent share a year earlier, mostly because of market share gains by Android.

Android captured 43 percent of the market, rising from 34 percent a year earlier.

Preliminary Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q1 2013.
Preliminary Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q1 2013. Strategy Analytics

(Via Neowin)