I noticed an article at analyst site Seeking Alpha last week that caught my eye. It was titled Apple’s Accelerating Tablet Dominance Is Underappreciated and it went over several points that Apple’s tablet lineup now has in its favor. Writer Zvi Bar makes some pretty convincing arguments, but does it matter?
According to the latest numbers from IDC, the iPad is maintaining the forward momentum that Apple kicked off with the release of the lower-cost iPad early last year. Apple is at the top of the tablet heap with around 26% market share worldwide.
Photo Source: Flurry Analytics
Flurry Analytics, which according to their own estimates “is used by over 1 million apps and has insight into 2.1 billion devices worldwide,” has declared Apple the winner of the gift-giving season. Just like last year, Apple took 44% of smartphone activations during the week leading up to Christmas, significantly ahead of Samsung at 26%. Google, with their new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, is notably absent from this chart despite an uptick in their own activations over the holidays.
If we needed any more evidence of the iPad’s dominant position in the tablet market, a recent estimate of tablets sales for the next four years by Gartner certainly provides it. As GigaOM’s Mobilize reports the future looks very bright for the iPad:
Media tablet sales are set to grow from 17.6 million last year to 326.3 million in 2015, and the bulk of them will continue to be Apple iPads.
That’s enormous projected growth, and it Gartner are correct that the iPad will maintain the majority of sales, that’s going to be some massive sales numbers for the Apple tablet line.
The iPad is definitely off to an incredible start in its first 18 months or so on the market, and perhaps even more importantly there’s still a dearth of any real competition for it. Perhaps that will change when Amazon releases their tablet soon, or when Microsoft finally wheel out their Windows 8 tablets late next year – but there’s an awful lot of catching up to do. I think Gartner’s assessment of the tablet arena over the next few years sounds about right:
Even over the next four years, as competing tablets and their supporting ecosystems mature, Gartner projects Apple’s iPad will hold a majority share of all tablets sales over the next four years. Android will continue to chase for the No. 2 spot but still manage just over a third of market share by 2015, while QNX and Microsoft slates bring up the rear. HP is considered to be out of the game completely due to abandoning the TouchPad hardware business with a massive inventory fire-sale.
Image Source: Fortune Tech
According to a survey done in April by The Nielsen Company shows the iPad still dominating the tablet market in the US – with a share of 82%, split almost evenly between its WiFi only models and WiFi + 3G models at 43% and 39% respectively.
Some things that jump out in the survey findings:
— No other tablet has a share of even 5%. ‘Other’ is kicking their butt at 9%.
— The Blackberry PlayBook is not listed, it likely hit the market too late to be considered in this one.
— It’s surprising to me that the WiFi only and 3G iPad models are running neck and neck. I would’ve expected to see the WiFi only units far ahead.
— iPad’s impact on usage of desktop and laptop computers is bigger than I would’ve guessed too – with 35% of tablet owners who own desktop computers saying they use their desktop less often or not at all, and 32% of laptop owners saying the same.