Analyst: IPad Competition to “Fall Flat”
The iPad has given Apple a wide lead in the tablet market, so wide that rivals will be hard pressed to catch up to it anytime soon.
“We believe Apple’s lead in the tablet market will prove difficult to close by the onslaught of competing products coming over the next several quarters,” Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore wrote in a note to clients today. “Ultimately, we expect the slew of upcoming competition to fall flat from a user experience standpoint while struggling to materially undercut the iPad on price.”
Today, the company’s position in tablet user interface, applications and content availability is unmatched. Add to this the scale advantage that comes from being the world’s largest buyer of flash memory and one of the largest buyers of capacitive touchscreen technology and catching up to Apple in the tablet market becomes a daunting proposition indeed.
“What’s troubling for competitors is Apple’s growing scale advantages and leverage with the supply chain,” Whitmore explains. “Because Apple is leveraging its iPod and iPhone buying power in the tablet market, the traditional PC vendors will not have the same buying power and scale advantages enjoyed in the traditional notebook market…. Apple is the world’s largest buyer of FLASH by a wide margin. We estimate Apple buys about 20-25% of the world’s FLASH due to its large iPhone and iPod FLASH needs….Finally, due to its early investment in capacitive touch technology and lead in selling touch devices, it’s difficult to believe any vendor buys more square footage of capacitive touch technology than Apple.”
Which doesn’t bode well for anyone bringing a tablet to market in the months ahead, Hewlett-Packard most of all. Says Whitmore, “We see considerable risk that HP’s PC expectations are too high (due to severe cannibalization) and its Palm business will ramp too slowly to offset the pressure from the iPad.”