Android to pwn iPad market share by 2016
Microsoft no bother to either
Android isn't going to overtake iOS until 2015, but at least Apple doesn't have to worry about Microsoft, RIM and others.
That's the outcome forecast by market watcher IDC based on its latest take on the state of the tablet arena.
Apple's tablet market share isn't going to dip below 50 per cent for five years, and even come 2016, it'll only lie just three percentage points behind Android.
"Apple will remain dominant in terms of worldwide vendor unit shipments," IDC said. "However, the sheer number of vendors shipping low-priced Android tablets means that Google's OS will overtake Apple's in terms of worldwide market share by 2015. We expect iOS to remain the revenue market share leader through the end of our 2016 forecast period and beyond."
That's not so very far from the prediction made by fellow researcher, IHS iSuppli last week.
Apple's trajectory was fed by Q4 2011 shipments of 15.4m units - more than three times its closest rival, the Amazon Kindle Fire, which chalked up shipments of 4.7m units, IDC reckons.
That puts Amazon's market share at 16.8 per cent - an impressive figure for a company that launched in the quarter under consideration and only shipped into the US, not globally. Apple's share was 54.7 per cent, third-placed Samsung's 5.8 per cent.
Amazon's success drove Android's market share to 44.6 per cent. RIM's share fell to a negligible 0.7 per cent. Windows didn't trouble the scorer.
For 2011 as a whole, Apple's share came to just over 59 per cent, with Android just over 38 per cent.
Tablet market shipment volumes forecast
Data source: extrapolation from IDC market share data
This year, IDC reckons, those shares will be around 55 per cent and 44 per cent, respectively, rising to 48 per cent and 51 per cent in 2016.
Totting those percentages up shows a progressively smaller and smaller slice of the pie taken by other tablet operating systems.
It's worth noting though, that though the Others' 2016 percentage is tiny, they will still see significant growth over 2012's unit-shipment figures, rising from, we calculate, around 1.1m units to 3.2m.
But that's still a drop in the ocean of 198.2m tablets IDC believes will ship in 2016, up from 101.6m units this year.
E-book readers fared well in Q4 2011 - the gift-buying season, of course - with worldwide shipments up to 10.7m units, up from 6.5m the previous quarter and 64.3 per cent up on Q4 2010's total.
Good numbers, to be sure, but still well below those of the iPad and tablets as a whole. You can see why Amazon was so keen to break into the tablet market. ®
>>>>>>I would guess by 2013 Android will be ahead of iOS on tablets, as clearly it's making massive inroads with better and cheaper tablets from more manufacturers
I'm not sure about that. I think with Android you could make an argument that the tablets are better or cheaper. Certainly not better and cheaper.
I thought the 1st gen top end Android tablets were worse than the iPad 1. I played with most of them, and I didn't think Honeycomb was quite finished, and most of them were a bit laggy. Obviously if you hate iOS that's not going to be true, but you'd have to be pretty one-eyed not to be able to admit that the iPad 2 had them beaten. For example I like the old ASUS Transformer, but it doesn't exactly feel like a premium product. None of them were really much cheaper either.
The less said about the £100 Android tablets the better. No problem for geeks, who know what they're doing and can root them, but not something I'd buy for my Mum. Not sure about the Kindle Fire.
Now we have a new Samsung and Transformer, which look nice. I've not had a chance to play, so can't comment on ICS and quality. But they're about the same price as the iPad 3. And more expensive than the iPad 2... If Apple really do bring out an 8" tablet for £300, that could hurt the more expensive Android tabs a lot.
So even if you think iOS is crap, the Android tablets that aren't, barely manage to be cheaper. Oh, and also, you're wrong. iOS isn't crap. You may not like it, but that's not the same thing...
Did they also massively underestimate how quickly Android will kill iOS on the smartphone too...
I would guess by 2013 Android will be ahead of iOS on tablets, as clearly it's making massive inroads with better and cheaper tablets from more manufacturers, and it's only 10% behind right now (which if you include all the supermarket Android tablets, and other non-Google approved devices, it's likely to be even closer).
When the original transformer came out, it was £430 (with keyboard) to the iPad's £400. And about £380 without. It's plasticky, and had a horrible metal band round the outside, that feels really cheap and nasty. It also ran Honeycomb, which I didn't feel was quite finished.
It had a slightly better screen (though personally I don't want a Widescreen tablet), an SD card slot, and the extra keyboard/battery combo, that I liked. Don't care about the camera on a tablet...
I only got to try them in shops, and the software was laggy, on the 2 or 3 I tried. It was, in my opinion, the best of the first-gen Android tabs, but I didn't think as good as the iPad. I'd love a play with a Transformer Prime, as they look much nicer.
Remember my original post responded to a comment that Android tablets were cheaper and better. Which I don't think they've yet achieved. I didn't compare the Transformer to the latest iPad, only the iPad2, which it came out later than, and I thought it worse. I await the new Asus tablet with nicer display, although I suspect it will still only manage to be either better than, or cheaper than the iPad 3, not both. We shall see.
The Asus transformer has been out a year, and when it was lauched was cheaper than an iPad2, more functional and less plasticy build quality, it had 7x more camera resolution, 30% more screen density, a keyboard, USB ports, SD card and so on...
To try and compare a year old Transformer against the new iPad is pretty lame. Try comparing the soon to be released Asus Infinity 700, which also has a retina screen if you want to compare like for like.
Honeycomb on my Transformer was pretty smooth, ICS is even better, it's WAY more functional too, with widgets and stuff. I don't think I could pony up £400 for a iPad even if I wanted one, but £400 for a Asus Transformer was a no brainer decision.
It sounds like you never actually tried one.
OK this is about business and the opinions of those signing the checks. I don't know how important it will be in the tablet wars where the consumer market is more important, but I would think some of this think would carry over and makes me suspect IDC's predictions.
I was just part of customer facing tablet (iPad) deployment. Android was a non-starter. One of the reasons - The perception (or reality) is that accessory market is iPad. Not that there aren't accessories for Android tablets, but the breadth of options for the iPad is so much larger.
Additionally there is a belief that there is long term plan for where the iPad (software and hardware) is going. If we went with iPads there would support and upgrades. Replacing tablets in months down the road would be as easy as buy more iPads. Rightly or wrongly, Android tablets are viewed as the flavor of the month. Here today, gone tomorrow for any particular model. This could be a reflection of the Android mobile phone market.
Plus, the three letter Cxx executives admire what Apple has achieved as a business, and would like that successful themselves.