SAN FRANCISCO—Apple Inc.'s iOS operating system is expected to reassert commanding leadership of the worldwide tablet space in 2012, following a temporary dip in market share in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli.
Apple's lead in tablet OS market share is expected to be bolstered later this year with the introduction of a smaller sized iPad, according to IHS.
IHS said Apple's dominant position in media tablet market share was temporarily diminished by a surge in sales for Amazon's Android-based Kindle Fire tablet in the fourth quarter of 2011. This caused Android's share of the tablet OS market to climb to 41.1 percent, up from 31.1 percent in the third quarter of 2011, IHS said.
But with Apple reasserting its leadership in 2012, IHS expects Android's share of the tablet market to decline to 38.4 percent for the year.
"The key to Apple’s media-tablet success has been its offering of a complete hardware-plus-content ecosystem," said Rhoda Alexander, director for monitors and tablets research at IHS, in a statement.
Alexander said Apple's robust ecosystem took years to develop, beginning with the iPod and the iTunes music store more than nine years ago. "It’s proving to be a challenge for the company’s competitors to replicate it," Alexander said.
It's not a question of "switch." The tablet market is not saturated yet. So the question is, for those who have yet to buy a tablet, do they want to feel the pain of the iPad price tag, or will they venture into the pool more readily if the water isn't quite so frigid?
There's a reason why the Kindle Fire sold like hot cakes this past Christmas, and that reason was not a more pleasant browsing experience!
BTW, the Kindle Fire and the Kindle e-book have access to the same books. If you have the e-book account, it also works on the tablet.
And the switch would be to Kindle because of cheaper price? or is the shopping experience on Amazon somehow much better if one uses the Kindle rather than an iPad? Seems like if the iPad has a good browser it would provide as good an experience using Amazon, plus whatever it is that people currently like about it over Android.
Perhaps the emphasis on the smaller screen will be those that would use it a lot as an e-reader. I know multiple people that complain that the current iPad is too heavy to hold for long periods reading a book or magazine.
I have an ultrabook and might consider buying a tablet PC sometime in the future. If I were to buy a media tablet, I almost think I would want something smaller/lighter than iPad by a bit.
I'll start off by saying my comments are highly opinionated. Agree with me or not, it's just another point of view from a different perspective.
What many claim to be greatest accomplishments of Apple are to me, many of the greatest shortcomings. Take for example, the single task device. While I can undedrstand the idea behind having only one program run at a time (less chance for problems), the lack of multi-tasking on a capable device bewilders me.
- The single button, while designed for efficiency and less chance of making mistakes, merely tells me that users are not considered bright enough to handle more than one input.
- The single location for programs/etc (itunes) is merely forcing the user to pay a premium charge to obtain them. I know this is meant to control the release of working (and approved) apps, but it limits the choice to only Apple sanctioned apps. Say goodbye to freedom of choice unless they approve it.
- Not allowing external memory devices to be added/attached means the products are intended to be made obsolete in short time in order to sell you new products.
- Waaaayyyy overpriced
Granted, the blip in the iOS sales numbers had alot to do with a lack-luster release of the latest iProduct. Many jumped to Kindle and other Android based tablets simply because of their discounted prices compared to Apple. There wasn't a compelling reason to pay a premium for it. Many have decided to wait for the next release before shelling out more cash. This alone might be the reason for the prediction in increased sales dominance in 2012.
One thing is for sure ... Tablets and netbooks are displacing the traditional desktop and Google, Apple & Microsoft are vying for your dollar votes.
I suppose this will partially depend on whether other tablets, like the Kindle Fire, and the services Amazon provides with that, will remain static.
Amazon also has a well developed ecosystem, and it has a substantial price advantage too. So if they aren't caught sleeping at the wheel, I'm not sure I'd rule them out based only on a smaller-sized iPad.
And there are more entrants in the market segment besides. It will be interesting to see how this ,arket evolves.
Dec 2012 will confirm. I personally think that 2012 will go to Android/Kindle because very soon, one of the main things people do with iPhone will be displaced by Kindle - shopping. The popularity of Kindle (Android ver) will beat the iOS family series.
"Apple's robust ecosystem took years to develop, beginning with the iPod and the iTunes music store more than nine years ago." is so true. I agree iTune store together with the million of apps available is the biggest advantage of Apple over the competitors. The question is how the other players leverage their "infrastructure" to penetrate into the market.
The competitiveness of Amazon Kindle Fire does only only come with a different form factor also it has equipped a well developed store, comparable to iTune if not better. Better off, the price is well fitted into family budget. If Apple decides to launch a 7.8 inches iPad w/o a competitive price, I wonder what strategy is going to be used to attract different crowds.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.