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The Global Tablets growth story (Strategy Analytics)

Posted in Industry updates, Mobile Computing by Manas Ganguly on October 25, 2011

According to a report released by Strategy Analytics, the Q3 2011 global tablet markets are now showing a shift from a Apple Monopoly to a Apple-Android Duopoly.Google’s Android-based tablets have gained market share in the iPad dominated tablet market during the third quarter of 2011. Samsung’s huge marketing effort behind its Galaxy tab series is finally beginning to pay off with Galaxy tablets currently accounting for 9% of the total tablet market.

The global tablet markets grew by 280% y-o-y in Q3. Android steamed the growth by a 440% growth wheras iPad clocked 161% growth. Consequently the iPad which dominated smartphone shipments in Q3 2010 with 96% market share is now on 66% share of the market and Android has 27% of the market.

There is reason to believe Android’s growth on tablets will continue to grow into 2012, as the introduction of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich could help tablet adoption among Android smartphone users.Amazon’s Kindle Fire will also drive Android tablet sales, estimating the company will sell more than 15 million units by 2013.

The catch in these statistics is that Android activations still lag iPad activations.The recently released Good Technology Device Activations Report for Q3 2011 shows that when it comes to tablets in business, enterprise users are clearly choosing iPad over the alternatives, noting “iOS tablets represent over 96 percent of total tablet activations”. Their graphic (below) also speaks volumes.

Android tablet activations remain in the realm of a rounding error compared to what we’re seeing with the iPad and iPad2.However the good news from Android from the same reserach source, Good technology, is that Android activations “steadily grew” during the quarter landing at an average of 29.2 percent while total net iOS activations fell from 78.7 percent in Q2 to 70.8 percent.

All this goes to say is that it is still early days for Tablets, Android and Apple (and possibly a missing Windows8). The markket is currently in the expanding mode and will continue to be so till 2015-16. Low cost constraint based innovation like the $35 Android tablet made by Datawind for India’s ministry of Human Resource Development will power penetration, reach and the mainstreaming of tablets as the next generationcomputing devices over the laptop (and possibly the smartphone).

Ahead! Ahoy! for tablets it is then.

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