The battle for tablet supremacy is raging, with both Android and Apple drawing lines in the sand. Android first brought the fight to Apple in the smartphone market and it quickly pushed Apple back to become the global leader in smartphones. Now it appears as though Android has set its sights on the tablet market as well, and is actively working to take the crown from Apple as the leading tablet operating system in the world.
In a recent report by Digital Trends, Apple is reported to be losing ground to Android despite the release of its latest tablets, the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3. The report shows that Apple’s market share slipped from 29.2 percent last year to 22.8 percent this year. Android tablets have been picking up most of the eroded market share with Windows tablets and other devices taking the remaining slice for themselves.
Low Cost Tablets Not Sustainable
Many experts believe that one of the main reasons for this erosion is the recent influx of low cost tablets powered by Android. These tablets are attractive to consumers and budget shoppers looking to gain access to the world that tablets have to offer without having to invest large sums of money to do so. However, tablet leaders like Apple and Samsung realize that these low cost tablets aren’t sustainable and simply don’t last the course when compared to high end tablets from Apple and other leaders.
Despite this trend, premium tablet manufacturers continue to see profits soar despite losing ground to some of these budget alternatives. Because of this, many industry analysts believe this to be the reason why Apple and Samsung do not seem overly concerned about the loss of market share. “As value-priced tablet brands continue to flood the market, customer attention is turning away from just the price of the device to their perception of the combined value of price, features and performance,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications services at JD Power.
As consumers turn toward a more experience related focus when deciding on which tablet to purchase, customer satisfaction with the brands becomes increasingly important. Apple has also lost ground in this arena as well, which could become a concern for the creator of the tablet market if the slip continues. Apple recently scored 824 out of 1,000 in customer satisfaction while its Kindle Fire rival, Amazon, bested the company with a score of 827. Not to be out done, Samsung also came in a close third with a score of 824. Indeed this race is a close one, but it could be a concern for Apple which has consistently enjoyed being the leader in customer satisfaction.
Not All Good News for Android
While much of this news might bode well for Android based tablets, not every piece of news is good. Samsung, one of the largest Android tablet makers and the well established leader in Android devices saw its market share drop to 18.3 percent from 19.3 percent in the previous year. While not as substantial a drop as Apple’s, these figures still show that other low cost tablets and even new Windows based tablets are having an effect.
With the changes in the tablet market, next year could really shape up to be a challenge for tablet makers in all the major brands. Will Android emerge as the undisputed leader of the tablet market or will Apple pull another rabbit out of its hat to retake the lead in the market that it arguably created in the first place?