The market research firm Maritz Research recently found that consumer smartphone loyalty does not directly translate to tablet loyalty, at least for Apple’s competitors, as noted by Forbes
. The firm conducted an online poll in November, surveying 2,500 people across the U.S. Those who participated were presented with 14 tablets from 11 different manufacturers and asked one which they would choose if they were to purchase a tablet.
Owners of RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones showed the least loyalty to their current platform with 53% of them saying they would buy an iPad, compared to just 8.5% of them indicating preference for RIM’s own PlayBook tablet. Of the remaining respondents, 12% of them said they would choose Amazon’s Kindle Fire, while 11% selected Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. RIM originally counted on BlackBerry users to comprise the PlayBook’s base market, but sales of the device have yet to take off, with 200,000 units shipped during RIM’s August quarter. The company recently revealed that it was taking a $485 million accounting charge due to unsold PlayBook inventory.
As far as Android users go, 41% of them listed the iPad as their top choice for a tablet. Android users did show higher loyalty to their current platform when compared to BlackBerry users though, with 15% of them indicating preference for the Kindle Fire and 19% for the Galaxy Tab, both of which run Google’s Android mobile OS.
Windows Phone and Windows Mobile users were similar, with 40% of them saying they would purchase an iPad, while 16% chose the Kindle Fire, and 12% opted for the Galaxy Tab. A few users did show interest in the HP Slate 500, which was the one Windows-powered tablet mentioned in the Survey.
Apple continues to inspire loyalty for its iOS platform as a whopping 77% of iOS consumers said they would buy the iPad. Of the iOS consumers, 8% of them chose the Kindle Fire and 5% with the Galaxy Tab.
Along with asking for future purchase preferences, the survey also tracked real-world purchases made over the past three months. 50% of the respondents mentioned they had bought an iPad recently compared to 13% of the surveyors admitting that they acquired the Kindle Fire. Meanwhile, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab comprised 9% of the recent purchases. Maritz senior strategic consulting director, Michael Allenson, told Forbes in an interview that the Kindle Fire did make an impressive debut, stating the numbers were unexpected for the tablet that recently launched. “As the [tablet] market continues to mature and include more mainstream consumers, it is likely that there will be room for other [non-Apple] brands to flourish,” he said.
As for right now, iPad competitors appear to stand a better chance in the mid-to low-end segment of the tablet market. People who are willing to pay $500 or more for a tablet indicated a strong preference for the iPad but consumers seeking to spend between $250 and $500 favored the Galaxy Tab over the Kindle Fire. Those seeking to spend $250 or less showed interested in the Kindle Fire. It should be noted that budget tablets may be cheap enough to be considered as impulse buys by some customers. Of the surveyors, 17% of them said they had purchased tablets as a last-minute decision, according to the report.
It seems like Apple will continue to hold the throne for quite some time though. As of right now, there is no clear competitor or at least not one experiencing success even remotely similar to that of Apple’s aside from the Kindle Fire. I personally feel, the Kindle Fire is only doing well because of its price point. Either way, we’ll have to wait and see if any manufacturer makes a tablet worthy of competing with Apple’s dominant tablet, the iPad.
What do you think of the statistics? Do you own a tablet – if so, which one? If not, which tablet are you likely to purchase and why? Share your thoughts and opinions below!