Apple maintained its lead in Australia’s tablet market, accounting for nearly 50 per cent of all sales in the first half of 2018, with the iPad 9.7-inch model the most popular seller, data from Telsyte showed.

Tablet sales during the six-month period of 1.5 million units were up from 1.42 million in H1 2017.

By operating system, iOS had a 49.6 per cent share (see chart below, click to enlarge), Windows 26 per cent and Android 24 per cent.

While Apple, Samsung and Microsoft remained the top three manufacturers, Telsyte believes there is a growing opportunity for other vendors to build on market awareness and tap into consumers’ shifting preference from laptops to two-in-one devices.

Figures from the company for H1 2017 highlight its assertion: Android’s share at the time was 29 per cent, with Windows accounting for 26 per cent. Apple held a 49 per cent share at end-June 2017.

The research company estimates around 2 million tablets were connected to Australia’s cellular networks (3G/4G) at the end of the recent period, with the figure set to increase as shared mobile data caps grow, and newer devices make use of e-SIMs and new 5G networks.

Its research shows interactive gaming is a critical application for tablets and a major driver for replacements and upgrades. Games remain the largest revenue generators on tablets in both Android and Apple app stores.