Prediction: In Two Years, Apple Will Have Less Than 50 Percent of the Tablet Market
Android’s gains in the tablet market continue apace with no signs of slowing. In fact, if anything, they’re growing faster. According to new research from Strategy Analytics, Android’s share of the global tablet market grew to 22 percent in the fourth quarter–a tenfold spike over the prior quarter. Meanwhile, Apple’s share slipped to 77 percent from 95 percent–this despite record sales of 7.3 million iPads in the December quarter, more than triple those of Android tablets.
With tablets running the Google mobile OS beginning to proliferate now, those days of Apple’s easy dominace of the market are winding down. Shipments of Android devices in the quarter, for example, leapt to 2.1 million units from about 100,000. “Apple’s volumes will continue to go up, but market share will inevitably go down,” Strategy Analytics’ director Neil Mawston told Bloomberg . “Even at $500 retail, based on some of the research we’ve done, that’s probably two or three times more than what most mass market consumers are expecting to pay….If you were to ask me in two years time will Apple have less than 50 percent of the global tablet market, I think that’s a certainty.”
Perhaps. Depends on how the competition shakes out, I suppose. And just how high Apple raises the bar for its rivals with the iPad 2.
UPDATE: It also depends on the manner in which the competition reports sales numbers. To wit, it turns out that those 2 million Galaxy Tabs Samsung sold were actually sold into the channel and not necessarily to consumers, suggesting that this spike in Android growth may not be quite what it seems.