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Android on the rise – cheap tablets go ballistic Featured

The ANZ tablet market more than doubled last year. Most of the growth was inncheap Android devices. Tablets are now a commodity.

The ANZ tablet market continued to register phenomenal growth of 147% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, says market analyst IDC. More than a million tablets (1.14 million) were sold in Australia in the twelve months to March 2103.

This ‘tremendous growth’ occurred because of a jump in demand for smaller, cheaper Android tablets. Windows tablets also contributed. The device that started it all, the iPad, has fallen a little off the pace. Its market share has fallen from 80% to 56% in a year. Still the market leader, but no longer the monopolist.

“Users now have better access to a wide range of low to high-end tablets as well as different operating systems compared to last year,” says IDC’s Suzanne Tai. “Last year a user would usually choose between an Apple iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab. But now brands like Asus, Acer, and Microsoft also appear on their radar.

“Whitebox tablets have picked up significantly as well, driven with heavy promotions by retailers such as Aldi, Harvey Norman, K-Mart and Warehouse Stationary. Android is growing its foothold in the marketplace, thanks to Samsung's aggressiveness with promotions and channel strategies, as well as the influx of whitebox tablets. And Windows tablets are also gaining traction with the entry of new models, pilot rollouts and implementations in commercial sector especially in education.”

IDC says the ANZ tablet market will grow 46% next year due to the introduction of new tablets, increasing commercial uptake, increasing demand as a result of price drops, and PC cannibalisation. In 2013, IDC expects to see increasing uptake of Windows and Android tablets stealing market share from iOS tablets. Apple, where are you?

 ANZ Tablet Operating System Market Share

Operating System

2012 Q1

2012 Q2

2012 Q3

2012 Q4

2013 Q1

Android

18%

9%

30%

26%

36%

iOS

80%

90%

69%

69%

56%

Windows

1%

1%

1%

6%

8%

Others

1%

0%

0%

0%

0%

 

“We will see more price competition within the tablets market especially with PC giants such as HP, Asus and Acer introducing new cheap Android tablets to compete with the whitebox market,” says Tai. “And let’s not forget the entry of Microsoft Surface Pro into the ANZ market in May 2013. This is bound to spark fierce battles among tablet vendors.”

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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