Apple Will Maintain Tablet Market Dominance in the Short Term, Low Cost Segment to Take 60% by 2016

Oyster Bay, New York - 21 Mar 2012

​The media tablet segment has evolved as a dynamic landscape since its inception about three years ago, evidenced by the fact that there are currently more than 220 models in the market. While the Apple iPad remains the market leader in the media tablet segment, the buzz created by iPad has paved the way for more and more vendors to join the race, especially in the lower price segment. The market for sub-$400 media tablets is expected to see significant growth over the next five years, occupying more than 60% of the market share by 2016, while the market for the over $400 segment is expected to shrink.

According to Jeff Orr, group director, consumer research, “The majority of new entrant media tablet models have been in the sub-$400 segment that focuses on growth markets like India and China. The strong wave of growth in this segment over the next few years is expected to be driven by the adoption in emerging markets.”

Wide aspect display media tablets (nine inches and above) are still favored in the market and accounted for more than 75% of the total media tablet volume in 2011, which is mostly attributed to the Apple iPad 2. However, the trend in coming years is expected to be inclined toward display sizes between seven and nine inches as smaller-sized media tablets provide better portability options for end-users.

No longer considered the unprivileged elder cousin of media tablets, eReaders are also on an accelerated growth track, with more than 30 models currently available by major vendors. 2011 has seen a healthy 33% growth in the eReader market and the market for total shipments is projected to grow over 20% in 2012. “Availability of competing models increases options for consumers and will help to boost eReader adoption,” says research analyst Aishwarya Singh. “However, the slower pace of digitization of local content will be the key market inhibitor for adoption of eBook Readers, as well as media tablets, in the emerging markets.”

ABI Research’s new market data, “Mobile Internet Device Product Tracker,” tracks media tablet, netbook, UMPC, MID, and eReader releases from all major vendors.

It is part of firm’s Tablets, Netbooks & Mobile CE Research Service.

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