Posted 10/05/2012 at 9:18 AM
Posted 5 years ago
In recent years the growing tablet market has been dominated by one device – the iPad. Apple’s 9.5 inch tablet is basically responsible for creating a tablet market in the first place and has rightly taken its place as the top handheld computer in its class. However, a new survey by the Pew Research Center for Excellence, published by Journalism.org has shown that the iPad is not quite the dominant force it was.
Thanks in large part to Android-based tablets such as the Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, Google have been able to make decent headway in the market. According to the survey, 81 per cent of tablet owners in 2011 owned an iPad, in 2012 that figure has dropped to 52%. The results may yet become even worse for Apple as they do not include the Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle Fire HD, both of which are expected to be big sellers over the holiday period.
Overall, the tablet market has thrived in the past year with the Pew survey reporting that as of 7 August 2012, 25 per cent of US adults own a tablet computer, a figure that is up from 11 per cent in July of 2011 and 18 per cent in January of this year. The growth in sales probably has a lot to do with pricing, as Android tablets are now widely available for around the $200 mark and less. The fact that the Kindle Fire and the new Google Nexus 7 are both 7-inch tablets also proves that consumers have taken to the smaller, more portable tablets. This may be a reason why Apple is planning a new 7.85-inch iPad mini – something that the company was traditionally against.
The latest iPad will go directly up against the new Amazon range of tablets, as well as the Asus-manufactured Nexus 7, but is still likely to be priced much higher than its biggest rivals.
The survey also reveals that brand loyalty is a big factor in which tablet operating system you prefer, with iPhone owners most likely to own an iPad (57%) and Android smartphone users preferring Android tablets (66%). It will be interesting to see whether the iPad mini helps Apple once again reclaim its dominance of the tablet market, or, as we have seen with smartphones, the sheer number of Android devices and competitive pricing helps the Google OS take majority market share.