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iPad Tablet Market Share Declines, Despite Lack Of Serious Competition
iPad Tablet Market Share Declines, Despite Lack Of Serious Competition
August 12, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi

While no individual tablet maker has yet presented a challenge to Apple's iPad, the company is seeing its market share decline after the introduction of several competitors last year.

According to a new report by ABI Research, sales of media tablets using an Android-based operating system reduced Apple's market share by 20 percent in 2010.

"Many vendors have introduced media tablets, but none are separating themselves from the pack to pose a serious threat to Apple. In fact, most have introduced products at prices higher than similarly-configured iPads," said ABI's Jeff Orr in a statement.

According to Orr, more than fifty companies will introduce low-cost media tablets this year, contributing to an industry that the company expects will top 120 million unit sales in 2015.

However, he warns, Android may not be ready for primetime yet, as fragmentation of its OS software (three distinct builds of the platform are being sold on different platforms at the same time) are preventing its growth into a user-friendly, software-populated platform that could take on Apple.

Of the current Android tablet experience, Orr says that it "creates a negative perception in the minds of the mass consumer audience about the readiness of media tablets to be fully functional within the next several years. Good user experiences and product response are needed to propel this market beyond the 'early adopter' stage."

ABI's new Media Tablets report is available here.

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Phil Nolan
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Remember that Ice Cream Sandwich will remove the fragmentation problem.

Chris Melby
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Yep, and for tablets, it's already happening with Honeycomb.

And on this tid-bit, Android did not enter the tablet market until earlier this year, with the release of Honeycomb. All other tablets prior, were just running modified versions of the phone OS.

But the analysts don't want to point that out, not when they have vested interests else where.

Chris Melby
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What's the deal with this site and analysts?

I view most of them as self serving liars.

Michael Yacavone
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This chart, with actual data, should prove illuminating:

Paul Lenoue
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It should be noted that the ABI research rigged the numbers a bit by counting Android tablets _shipped_, or bought by retail outlets, not the number of tablets actually purchased by consumers. They did the same thing with Android phones, along with ignoring how many were returned (very high numbers). iPads are selling as fast as Apple can make them while many Android tablets are gathering dust in back rooms and warehouses.

When you see reports like this, keep in mind that in the early days of the Zune Microsoft paid for a lot of these questionable "studies" that showed impressive sales, yet you never saw a single Zune in the wild.