The number of Android tablet users increased by 123 per cent between 2012 and 2013, according to new figures from Gartner.

The research firm’s latest report shows that 121 million devices were sold in 2013, compared to 53 million during the previous year.

This means that Google’s operating system now dominates the market. Despite Apple and its own iOS platform showing strong growth towards the end of last year, Android now has a 62 per cent market share.

Sales of iOS devices, such as the iPad and iPad Mini, reached 70 million in 2013, marking a rise of almost 15 per cent. The platform’s market share, however, fell from 53 per cent to 36 per cent.

The growth has been boosted significantly by an influx of low-end devices, with manufacturers like Samsung, Google and Lenovo releasing products to cater specifically for budget-restricted tech fans. The report also highlights the importance of emerging markets, with growth in this area alone recorded at 145 per cent in 2013. In comparison, mature markets showed growth of just 31 per cent.

[themecolor]Tablets a ‘mainstream phenomenon’ [/themecolor]

Gartner research director Roberta Cozza says that despite prices falling, capability is still important. She was quoted by as saying: “In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications.”

It’s important to note that Android runs on tablets from a range of manufacturers, while iOS is only available on Apple’s own devices. This could explain why the Californian firm still dominates the vendor market. Samsung follows in second, despite showing the most growth in 2013.

Ms Cozza went on to say that Microsoft has some work to do if it is to build on the relatively small share of the market that its tablets currently have. Devices such as the Surface running on the Windows operating system currently account for around 2 per cent of all sales.