The overall installed base of Android tablets received an assist from a group of "other" small tablet vendors, which held the single largest market share in the IDC and IHS surveys. The group includes regional tablet vendors in China that ship sub-$100 tablets with 7-inch screens, cheap components and older versions of Android. Tablet shipments from that group totaled 16.8 million units according to IDC, and 16.4 million according to IHS.
The return rates on those cheap tablets are high, and the devices don't last too long. The cheap tablet business model is not yet proven, analysts said.
"Shipments alone won't guarantee long-term success. For that you need a sustainable hardware business model, a healthy ecosystem for developers and happy end users," said Tom Mainelli, research director of tablets at IDC.
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