Tablets power ahead on Android

2014-03-04 11:35


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Cape Town - Worldwide tablet sales have continued their upward momentum, capturing a massive growth curve, despite a sluggish economy.

According to industry tracker Gartner, tablets grew by 68% on 2012 as the PC market collapsed to the worst results in its history.

"In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications," said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.

Despite leading the market with consumer tablet's Apple's iPad range continued to slip in market share despite healthy growth numbers.

Android powered tablets now make up 61.9% - or a whopping 120 million units - of market share, up from 45.8% in 2012. Apple's share has contracted from 52.8% to 36% over the same period.

Emerging markets

Google's operating system has evolved into a first consumer choice on both tablets and smartphones, while Apple has not been able to convert many new users to its ecosystem.

However, despite Android's exponential growth, Cozza warned that manufacturers had to ensure that they were able to stand out from the crowd.

"As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditised, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value - beyond just hardware and cost - to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins."

According to Gartner, most of the tablet growth has come from emerging markets where price is a key differentiator. Most consumers in SA buy the devices with upfront cash rather than on contract, as is the case in developed markets.

The results show that tablets grew by 145% in developing economies, and only by 31% in the more developed markets.

One key mover in the tablet space has been Microsoft. The company was a late entrant to the market, but saw a healthy adoption of its Windows tablets to finish at 2.1% or four million units, from just 1% in 2012.

"To compete, Microsoft needs to create compelling ecosystem proposition for consumers and developers across all mobile devices, as tablets and smartphones become key devices for delivering applications and services to users beyond the PC," said Cozza.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    google  |  apple  |  gartner  |  ipad  |  mobile

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