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To the surprise of absolutely no one who’s been paying attention, the iPad is the clear leader in global tablet web traffic, with an astounding 88%, far greater than all Android tablets and afterthoughts like the BlackBerry PlayBook, according to Pingdom.
But while the iPad has such a sharp lead in tablet web use, almost certainly because it’s the most popular tablet, the upcoming Kindle Fire, which costs $300 less than the iPad and features the powerful Silk web browser, could begin eating away at that stat.
Pingdom’s study admits that the exact figures of tablet web use aren’t readily available, but it was able to extrapolate from a variety of other sources to complete a convincing picture that the iPad owns about 88% of tablet web traffic. StatCounter regularly completes surveys of the percentages of OSes that access the web. When you bring down those OS web access stats to just tablets, iOS has 87.6%, Android takes 10.9%, webOS has 0.7% and BlackBerry OS has 0.7%.
These statistics match up well with sales figures throughout the world, as noted in a post a few months ago by John Gruber. In the U.S. alone, the iPad makes up 83% of tablet sales, and around the world it counts for 73% of tablet sales.
No Android tablet up to this point has been a runway hit — not even Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Motorola’s Xoom, arguably the two slickest premium Android tablets. But the Kindle Fire could change that. It doesn’t look like Android on the surface, but it still is built using Android’s operating system and could greatly help Android’s tablet market share because the $199 price point is so attractive. Microsoft’s Windows 8, which will go live next year, also looks like a viable competing OS that could help bring the iPad down a notch.