Friday, 16 December 2011 12:52

ANZ tablet market cooling, but iPad 2 continues rise


Sales of tablets have been booming for a long time, but according to a new report just out, sales in the Australian and New Zealand market have cooled, rising just 3.1 percent (quarter on quarter) in the third quarter this year, with 434,000 units shipped. Apple, however, continues its rise with the iPad 2, while Android sales are subdued.

According to IDC's ANZ Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker, in the third quarter Australia contributed 86.2 percent of total shipments in the ANZ region and rose just 1.6 percent quarter on quarter.

IDC also says that in the quarter, Android media tablets growth went opposite ways across the region, with sales in Australia dropping by 37 percent from the previous quarter, whereas in New Zealand it grew by slightly more than 60 percent quarter on quarter.

'The initial hype around a variety of Android media tablet launches in Q2 subdued in Q3 whilst Apple iPad 2 continued its upward momentum in Australia,' Yee-Kuan Lau, Market Analyst for IDC ANZ, said. 'The exit of low-cost Android tablets such as Optus MyTab and Telstra T-Touch and the court case over Samsung's Galaxy 10.1 slowed down Android's momentum in Australia as well.'

However, according to Lau, New Zealand's Q3 media tablet market portrayed a larger market expansion, growing 13.6 percent more than the previous quarter.

'Android momentum is strong in New Zealand and the growth is due amongst other things to the collective efforts of major players such as Motorola, Acer, Asus and Samsung, which had the advantage to sell Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the country.'

IDC also reports that across the ANZ region, Android-based media tablets unit share dropped by eight points in Q3 from the previous quarter, taking up 16.5 percent of the total market size, while Apple's iPad 2 market share rose to 77.7 percent in the same quarter. The rest of the shipments went to RIM's PlayBook and also to the one-off shipments of HP's TouchPad.

'Apple continues to grow in ANZ with additional retail stores followed by a channel expansion: selling through Australian telco operators for the first time and appointing Ingram Micro as a second distributor in New Zealand,' Lau says.

'Consumers now have more device choices such as Ultrabooks, although the impact of this form factor on media tablets remains minimal at this stage. IDC expects the media tablet momentum will pick up a notch when Android 4.0 tablets are launched and also in the long-run when LTE-capable devices hit the market, which will result in more media tablet sales through telco operators.'

And, looking at the Christmas period, IDC forecasts that Android-based media tablets shipments in ANZ will stay below the 100,000 mark with close to 20 percent unit share in Q4, while Apple iOS is expected to continue its market leader position.

IDC expects approximately 1.5 million units of media tablets shipped into the ANZ channel by the end of the year, and Lau says that although Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban was lifted in mid-December, which she says came in a timely manner with Christmas season around the corner, she does not expect last minute Christmas sales of the device to significantly affect the overall Q4 sales in Australia.



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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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