Tablets have been on the top of many wish lists since 2010 when Apple launched its first iPad device. The installed base of big brand (Apple, Samsung, etc.) media tablets is expected to surpass 285 million units at the close of 2013.
The United States, which has been the largest single tablet market since inception, represents more than 70 million tablets alone, or about one for every four persons.
“Apple’s early tablet lead is not as evident three years into the market’s boom,” says ABI Research senior practice director, Jeff Orr. “The initial iPad shipments are aging out with the first wave of replacement tablets expected over the next six months. We believe about 51% of the tablet installed base is coming from iOS and 40% Android when all is said and done in 2013.”
Samsung continues to make gains in the Android tablet segment with 20% growth experienced in 3Q’13. The company has significantly increased its marketing spend in the second half of the year as it promotes three distinct tablet sub-brands and looks to receive some halo effect from the success of its Galaxy S4 smartphones and the Galaxy Gear companion smart watch device.
Apple shored up its two-year ASP hemorrhaging in 3Q’13 by increasing nearly 1% to US$439. Unit shipments for the largest tablet vendor were down 4% from the previous quarter and revenues were down about 3% as the company geared up for the launch of its iPad Air and second generation iPad Mini devices.
“Product transitions are rarely pretty, but ABI Research expects Apple to have a stellar 4Q’13 as it looks to satisfy an even larger audience purchasing tablets for the first time,” adds Orr.