Analyst: Early Android Tablet Entries Can't Compete With iPad
“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.”
The iPad’s dominance of the market for tablet computers may not prove as short-lived as some analysts have predicted. Though beset by a proliferation of new rivals, particularly those based on Google’s Android operating system, the company’s share of this fast-growing market isn’t eroding nearly as quickly as expected.
Why? According to Jeffries analyst Peter Misek, Android tablets simply aren’t competitive. “We have thus far been very disappointed with nearly every Android-based tablet,” said Misek–so disappointed that he’s slashed his 2011 tablet forecast to 70 million units from 100 million. In his opinion, Android tablets won’t come close to rivaling the iPad until their OS is more refined and their prices come down.
“[Android] Honeycomb is an OS that seems rushed and still requires significant polishing,” Misek says. “Our own multiple-week interaction with Honeycomb tablets showed daily crashes, bugs, and program hangs. Yet our iPad has yet to experience any of these trends or idiosyncrasies.”
And beyond this, Android tablets are simply too expensive.
“We believe there is significant price elasticity in the market, and these additional tablets have all in our view failed in one key category: providing a compelling discount to the iPad,” he explains, adding that Android tablet OEMs must cut prices if they’re ever to establish a beachhead against Apple’s tablet.
Eventually, says Misek, Android tablets will be quite competitive with iOS tablets, but not until these issues are addressed. Until then, the iPad will continue to dominate.