Apple to Gain Tablet Market Share back from Android in 2012
According to the latest IDC Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker, Apple’s iPad will get back some of the market share it lost to Android tablets in 2011. It is being forecasted to take over 62% of worldwide sales. This bump is part of an overall rise in tablet sales for 2012 which IDC estimates to reach 107.4 million units, up from the 69.6 million in 2011 and 19.4 million in 2010.
The research director of IDC’s Mobile Connected Devices unit, Tom Mainelli, says: "demand for media tablets remains robust, and we see an increasing interest in the category from the commercial side. We expect pending new products from major players, increasingly affordable mainstream devices, and a huge marketing blitz from Microsoft around Windows 8 to drive increased consumer interest in the category through the end of the year."
The Cupertino California company’s tablet market is seen as reaching 69.8 million units which accounts for 62.5% of global sales. The iPad dominated in 2011 with a 58.2% market share but that number was down from the device’s launch year which saw iOS tablet sales take an unprecedented 76.2% piece of the market. The growth will eat away at Android market share that is pegged to fall 2.3% from the 38.8% seen in 2011. "After a very strong launch of new products in March, Apple's iPad shows few signs of slowing down," Mainelli said. "The addition of the Retina Display and 4G capabilities to the third-generation products clearly enticed many current owners to upgrade. And Apple's decision to keep two iPad 2s in the market at lower prices - moving the entry-level price down to $399 - seems to be paying off as well”
According to Mainelli, if the company releases a rumored 7-inch iPad model as the presumably low entry price will possibly break into untapped demographics. The company is said to be readying such a device for launch sometime this fall. If and when a smaller version of the iPad does make a debut, it will have to content not only with Android tablets but also devices running Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows RT. Although the IDC doesn’t currently include the two new operating systems as a part of its forecast, the firm will be adding them next quarter as devices hit store shelves. Although market share isn’t expected to be high, it should be noted that the Windows-based tablets do appear in IDC’s PC market tracker.
With the tablet market expected to grow to 222.1 million units by 2016, there seems to be plenty of room for new competition to arise. We’ll have to see if Android can wrest away enough market share from iOS to even the playing field or if Microsoft’s new Windows devices can compete with the Android and the iOS platforms.
Source: IDC Research