Apple’s iPad will grow its share of the booming tablet market over its Android-based rivals this year, thanks in large part to new features introduced with the iPad 3 and the company’s decision to reduce the prices further on the iPad 2, according to market research firm IDC.
The prediction comes as IDC analysts, citing the expected strong demand for media tablets in the second half of the year, increased their forecasts for the market overall, calling for 107.4 million tablets to be sold this year, up from the previous expectation of 106.1 million.
And the momentum will only continue, the analysts said in a report June 14. For 2013, they increased their forecast from 137.4 million units to 142.8 million, with sales jumping to 222.1 million by 2016. Those numbers could increase after the upcoming release of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, which will offer not only touch-screen capabilities but also run on non-x86 systems, such as tablets powered by system-on-a-chip (SoC) architectures like ARM Holdings.’
Tablets also are getting more looks from businesses, according to Tom Mainelli, research director for mobile connected devices at IDC.
“Demand for media tablets remains robust, and we see an increasing interest in the category from the commercial side,” Mainelli said in a statement. “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.”
Apple and its iPad are going to be the primary beneficiary of the market growth, according to IDC. In 2011, the iPad and its iOS operating system held 58.2 percent of the market. This year, that share will grow to 62.5 percent. That will come at the expense of tablets running Google’s Android operating system, which will see its share slip from 38.7 percent last year to 36.5 percent in 2012, the analysts said.
Struggling BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion, with its PlayBook tablet, will see its already anemic market share drop even farther, from 1.7 percent in 2011 to 1 percent this year.
Mainelli attributed Apple’s market share growth to the addition of several key features in the iPad 3, which launched earlier this year, including Retina Display and 4G capabilities. Smart pricing moves also will help Apple, he said.
“After a very strong launch of new products in March, Apple’s iPad shows few signs of slowing down,” Mainelli said. “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. If Apple launches a sub-$300, 7-inch product into the market later this year as rumored, we expect the company’s grip on this market to become even stronger.”
Other analysts also have cited Apple’s decision to lower the prices on its iPad 2 as having an impact on the tablet market. In a report June 8, IMS Research noted that the average selling price for a tablet fell 21 percent this year, to $386, with the drop in the iPad 2 price being the significant factor. The move put greater price pressure on rivals.
“There are few innovations from vendors to differentiate their tablets; low price seems to be the major factor to attract consumers to buy tablets other than iPads,” report author Gerry Xu said in a statement. “More vendors are expected to focus on the low-end tablet market. However, to balance performance and profitability with a low price remains challenging for most tablet vendors.”
IDC’s Mainelli said his firm has not yet factored in the impact of Windows 8 or Windows RT (the OS for ARM-based systems) into the tablet numbers yet. That will come later this year.
“Our current thinking, based upon early pricing expectations for these products, is that Windows-based tablets will be largely additive to our existing media tablet market forecast,” he said. “We don’t expect Windows-based tablets to necessarily take share from Apple and Android, but will grow the overall tablet market.”
With the growing demand for tablets—and the falling prices—IDC also revised its 2012 forecasts for e-readers, noting that sales in the first quarter were disappointing. The analyst firm now expects shipments this year to come in at about 28 million units, a slight drop from the 28.2 million units that shipped in 2011.
The overall demand for tablet computers is on the rise, and amongst most customers, the iPad’s lead over rival Android systems will increase over the next several years, according to a new International Data Corporation (IDC) study released on Thursday.
The IDC has increased its forecast for global tablet sales in 2012 from 106.1 million to 107.4 million, anticipating strong second-half sales of the devices, according to AFP reports. The firm also increased projected 2013 tablet sales from 137.4 million to 142.8 million, and predicted that worldwide shipments could top 222 million in four year’s time.
The outlook isn’t promising for everyone, through. According to Chloe Albanesius of PCMag.com, IDC forecasts that Apple iOS tablets (i.e. the iPad family of products) will increase their global market share from 58.2% in 2011 to 62.5% in 2012. Meanwhile, the Android tablet market share is expected to dip from 38.7% to 36.5%, while Research in Motion (RIM) tablets are anticipated to drop from 1.7% market share to just 1%, Albanesius added.
“Demand for media tablets remains robust, and we see an increasing interest in the category from the commercial side,” Tom Mainelli, IDC’s Mobile Connected Devices Research Director, said in a statement. “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.”
“After a very strong launch of new products in March, Apple’s iPad shows few signs of slowing down,” he added. “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. If Apple launches a sub-$300, 7-inch product into the market later this year as rumored, we expect the company’s grip on this market to become even stronger.”
One area where Android is about to pull ahead of the iPad is amongst business clientele, according to ZDNet‘s Rachel King. Citing International Data Group (IDG) figures, King said that 44% of the 3,124 IT and business professionals polled said that they would purchase an Android tablet within the next year, compared to just 27% for Apple’s tablet computer.
Slashgear‘s Rue Liu pointed out that the current IDC forecast does not include Windows 8 tablets. Liu said that the firm will begin incorporating those devices into their tracking statistics beginning next quarter. Furthermore, the IDC lowered projected e-reader shipments from 28.2 million units to 28 million on the heels of “disappointing” first quarter sales figures attributed to the availability of lower priced tablets.
Will Android-based tablets be able to eat away at the iPad’s market share? Not anytime soon, according to new stats from IDC.
In the coming months, the new iPad will help “shift a larger percentage of future units toward iOS and away from Android,” according to IDC.
Apple’s iOS will likely grow its global market share from 58.2 percent in 2011 to 62.5 percent in 2012. Android, however, will drop from 38.7 percent last year to 36.5 percent this year, while Research in Motion’s share slips from 1.7 percent to 1 percent, IDC predicted.
“After a very strong launch of new products in March, Apple’s iPad shows few signs of slowing down,” Tom Mainelli, research director of Mobile Connected Devices at IDC, said in a statement. “The addition of the Retina display and 4G capabilities to the third-generation products clearly enticed many current owners to upgrade.”
Also helping Apple was its decision to continue selling the iPad 2 at a lower price. “Moving the entry-level price down to $399seems to be paying off as well, Mainelli said. “If Apple launches a sub-$300, 7-inch product into the market later this year as rumored, we expect the company’s grip on this market to become even stronger.”
The release of Windows 8, however, could shake things up.
“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,” Mainelli said.
At this point, IDC is not making any Windows 8-specific predictions, but will start doing so during the next quarter. “Our current thinking, based upon early pricing expectations for these products, is that Windows-based tablets will be largely additive to our existing media tablet market forecast,” Mainelli said this week. “We don’t expect Windows-based tablets to necessarily take share from Apple and Android, but will grow the overall tablet market.”
Microsoft will reportedly reveal its own tablet at a Monday press event in Los Angeles that promises a “major” announcement from Redmond. Stay tuned for all the details.
Overall, meanwhile, IDC has increased its tablet sale prediction from 106.1 million units this year to 107.4 million units.
For more, see PCMag’s full review of the new iPad and the slideshow above.
For more from Chloe, follow her on Twitter @ChloeAlbanesius.
For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.
Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405871,00.asp
During the first quarter of 2012, total worldwide tablet shipments hit 17.4 million, 1.2 million units less than the research firm had anticipated. And although that figure is down 38.4 percent compared to the busy holiday shopping season, it was up 120 percent over the 7.9 million tablets that shipped during the first quarter of 2011.
The main issue last quarter was weaker-than-expected performance of
Android-based tablets. IDC did not provide exact Android tablet shipments for the quarter, since its figures are preliminary. Considering 11.8 million iPads were sold during the first quarter, however, and since RIM’s PlayBook shipments were not substantial from a market-wide perspective, Android-based devices tallied several million unit shipments during the period.
“Although total Android shipments were down sharply in [the first quarter], companies such as Samsung and Lenovo are beginning to gain traction in the market with their latest generation of Android products,” IDC wrote in a statement today. “IDC expects the segment to rebound quickly as other vendors introduce new products in the second quarter and beyond.”
Still, it’s hard to see which Android vendor will be able to worry Apple. According to IDC, Apple’s market share last quarter jumped from 54.7 percent in the fourth quarter to 68 percent last quarter. Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which secured 16.8 percent market share in the fourth quarter, could only muster a 4 percent slice of the market during the first three months of 2012. Samsung had the highest market share in the Android ecosystem, followed by Amazon and Lenovo.
“Apple reasserted its dominance in the market this quarter, driving huge shipment totals at a time when all but a few Android vendors saw their numbers drop precipitously after posting big gains during the holiday buying season,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices at IDC. “Apple’s move to position the iPad as an all-purpose tablet, instead of just a content consumption device, is resonating with consumers as well as educational and commercial buyers. And its decision to keep a lower-priced iPad 2 in the market after it launched the new iPad in March seems to be paying off as well.”
Even with a sluggish first quarter, it’s hard not to be bullish on the tablet market. NPD DisplaySearch reported today that tablet shipments are set to explode in the coming years, reaching 184.2 million units next year, and jumping to 424.9 million by 2017.
“The folks in Cupertino (Apple) keep talking about how tablets will exceed notebook shipments,” DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim said today in a statement. “Well, we’re starting to see that as well.”
Mobile devices running Apple’s iOS are more profitable for Google than Android devices, analysis of data revealed in court shows.
Last week the Guardian reported that according to figures revealed as part of a proposed settlement in an ongoing patent dispute case with Oracle, Google makes four times as much from an iOS device than it does from devices running its own Android OS.
The court documents reveal that Google has made about $543 million from Android between its launch in 2008 and 2011. We know that by the end of 2011 around 200 million Android devices had been activated, with around 90 million of these activations taking place in the last two years.
It works out to about $10 per handset. Google licenses Android to handset manufacturers for free and generates revenue through advertising and app sales — it takes roughly a 30 percent cut — though the company has never officially revealed how much it makes from Android handsets. It’s worth noting that the court documents don’t tell us how Google works out Android revenue but does show us that Google offered Oracle a percentage of Android revenues, a deal which was rejected by Oracle.
But Google has also been licensing the use of its products — maps, search and so on — to Apple since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007. There have been some 315 million iOS device sales since then and by working out Google’s overall revenue generated by mobile devices and removing Android from the equation, the Guardian reckons that Google makes around four times as much per iOS device as it does per Android device.
Asymco’s Horace Dediu takes the calculations further and said that iOS could even be earning Google five times more than Android.
“Many of these figures begin to hang together as we balance assumptions about costs, revenues and statements made in public. There is a consistency within a comfortable margin of error. If that is the case, then the economics of Android begins to take shape,” Dediu said.
“My take is that it’s not a bad business. But it’s also not a great one. As long as there is exponential growth in units, Android will improve its position inside Google relative to iOS. But from Google’s perspective, iOS is today a bigger business. And iOS is not standing still. It’s growing not only in terms of units but in revenue per unit.
“In terms of returns, Android is sustainable. However, in relative terms the value created leaves much to be desired. Whereas Android generates $1.70 per device per year and thus an Android device with a two year life generates about $3.50 to Google over its life, Apple obtained $576.30 for each iOS device it sold in 2011. The economics of Android are nothing like the economics of iOS.
Things could be about to get worse for Google and Android, too. A separate analysis from Flurry conducted earlier this year shows that revenue generated per iOS user by the iTunes App Store is over four times that of the revenue generated by Android user through Google Play, the company’s new-look app marketplace.
The same analysis showed that Amazon was generating much more revenue per active user in the Amazon Appstore than Google was generating per Android user. This could lead developers to abandon the company, Flurry’s Peter Farago predicted.
“As developers make decisions to support different platforms, the ability to generate revenue will always be a key factor. Based on revenue potential, we expect to see an increasing number of developers support Amazon. We also believe that companies such as Samsung, the leading Android-supporting OEM, could also consider emulating Amazon’s move to fork Android. Google will need to reduce commerce friction to maintain strong developer support,” Farago said.
While Google clearly relies on iOS to generate a large portion of its mobile revenue, Apple’s attitude to Android couldn’t be more different. As Bloomberg Businessweek reported last week, Apple is still very much at war with Android, driven by the determination of its late CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs to crush Google’s mobile OS.
Apple’s tactic is to take on Google via patent disputes in courtrooms worldwide, not directly, but through proxies such as Samsung, the largest manufacturer of Android-based handsets and tablets, and Motorola, another Android handset and tablet manufacturer which Google is in the process of buying.
Recent rulings would appear to favor Apple — just last week a ruling was described by one patent expert as posing a serious threat to “the Android ecosystem at large.”
So with levels of revenue generated by Android for Google comparatively low, developers considering it to be an unprofitable platform and Apple determined to crush it, it looks as if Android faces tough times ahead.
Analyst firm IDC sees Android not just surviving, though, but sustaining its share of the smart connected device market in the next few years.
The number of Android-based devices will grow from a 29.4 percent share in 2011 to a market-leading 31.1 percent share in 2016, IDC believes. iOS-based devices will grow from 14.6 percent share in 2011 to 17.3 per cent in 2016, according to the company’s projections. However, Android could still face the same problems with generating revenue over this period, it seems.
“Android’s growth is tied directly to the propagation of lower-priced devices. So, while we expect dozens of hardware vendors to own some share in the Android market, many will find profitability difficult to sustain,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices for IDC.
“Similarly, we expect a large percentage of application developers to continue to focus their efforts on iOS, despite the platform’s smaller overall market share, because iOS end users have proven more willing to pay for high-quality apps.”