October 23, 2011

Report: Android Tablet Computer Market Share Increasing

Apple's dominance of the tablet computer market has taken a big hit in recent months, according to a new report released Friday by market research firm Strategy Analytics.

According to Phil Goldstein of FierceWireless, the report claimed that the iPad's global market share fell from 95.5% during the third quarter of 2010 to 66.6% during the third quarter of 2011. During that same time period, the market share of tablets running the Android operating system increased from 2.3% to 26.9%. Combined, Android and iOS devices lay claim to 94% of the total tablet market.

The surprising results come following a 20% increase in the number of iPad units shipped during the past three months, freelance writer John P. Mello Jr. said in an article written for PCWorld. Second quarter shipments of the Apple-branded device were 9.2 million units, while the most recent quarter saw those figures rise to 11.12 million units, Mello noted.

"It is clear that the iPad is experiencing slowing growth," IDC analyst Tom Mainelli said in a research note, cited by PCWorld on Friday. "Many of the affluent consumers most likely to spend $500 or more on an iPad in markets such as the United States have already done so, and these buyers have now moved into a replacement buying cycle."

Furthermore, Mello writes, "If Apple wants maintain past shipment levels, it's going to have to appeal to mainstream consumers. For them, he continued, $500 for a tablet is a hard sell, even harder in the face of the competition like Amazon's upcoming $199 Kindle Fire."

"We might see Apple offer the current $499 16GB/WiFi-only Apple iPad 2 at $399 or less after it launches the iPad 3 at $499 and up," Mainelli added. "Lower-priced iPads would increase Apple's total available market, and would give competitors already reeling from Amazon's $199 product announcement yet another reason to lose sleep at night."

Overall, the market for tablet computers has increased by 280% over the past year, reports Kevin C. Tofel of Giagom.


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