Pew survey: The tablet market is not just an iPad market

Pew survey: The tablet market is not just an iPad market

Summary: It has often been said that there is no tablet market, just an iPad market. However, thanks to the rollout of 7 inch Android-based tablets the market is changing rapidly.

Pew survey: The tablet market is not just an iPad market

I have a few tablets (iPad 3, Nexus 7, HTC Flyer, HP TouchPad), but use my Apple iPad most of the time. Many of us have said before that there really was no tablet market, just an iPad market. However, that has changed significantly over the past year thanks in large part to Android-based tablets like the Kindle Fire. According to a new Pew Research Center Project for Excellence survey 81% of tablet owners in 2011 had an iPad and in 2012 this share has been reduced to 52%. The survey results do not include the Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle Fire HD so by the end of 2012 we may see this change a bit. Apple's rumored iPad mini may be perfectly positioned since it appears the 7 inch Android-based tablets are what Android users are purchasing.

In July 2011, Pew reports that there were just 11% of US adults with a tablet and that figure rose to 18% by January 2012. As of 7 August, they measured that 25% of US adults have a tablet computer. Price has likely been a major factor in this quick adoption as we see Android-based tablets in the $200 price range with the older iPad models also dropping to reasonable levels. I am very interested in seeing where the rumored iPad mini fits in given that iPod touch devices are still very expensive and much smaller than the possible iPad mini.

As expected, those who have an iPad are more likely to have an iPhone and those who have an Android tablet are more likely to have an Android smartphone. If you buy into one ecosystem it makes sense that you do that across your device portfolio.

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Topics: Mobility, Android, iPad, Tablets

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  • Is this a shift in the tablet market?

    The Kindle is more the addition of functionality to an eBook than the reduction in size of a tablet. I may be splitting hairs here but I don't think most people who are in the market to buy a tablet end up looking at the Kindle Fire. It is more like people looking to buy an eReader are then interested in the Kindle Fire.

    I think it is also fair to say that iPad owns the 10" tablet market and does not compete in the 7" tablet market. You are absolutely right that the iPad Mini will change things. No matter how bad this tablet is, I predict it will destroy all the other 7" tablets in sales.
    • ...

      i dont think the ipad mini will destroy other 7" tablets unless it can compete in price. but as the author said, "given that iPod touch devices are still very expensive and much smaller than the possible iPad mini", it does not appear that the ipad mini will be able to compete price-wise with other 7" tablets without giving up quite a bit in functionality.
      • And what about the form factor?

        From the "leaked" pictures I've seen, the format is not the same as the iPad. The iPad mini seems to have a 16:9 format, and since it will also have a low res screen than the iPad, what will that mean for the compatibility of the iPad software with this new device? More fragmentation? Or, will it use iPhone 5 formatted software instead of iPad designed software? If so, does the software simply scale up? That's not good either. Or, would software vendors now be required to design software for yet another format specifically?

        Pricing will be very important. Will they eliminate the iPad 2 and replace it with the iPad mini? If so, it would go for $399. Maybe even $349. Would that compete with the Nexus 7 running a quad core processor and jellybean? Absolutely not.
    • Too much credit to customers

      I think many will buy the Kindle fire since it looks like a tablet and is cheap. Also it will appear on Amazon while the shopping other stuff.
  • Yep so...

    So if you throw in the Fire and the Nexus, could Android have half the Tablet Market?

    There has been a real uptick in games over the past 6 months on Android so, I am thinking vendors are noticing the shift away from Apple.
  • This is good

    It's important to establish a competitive marketplace to foster innovation. It will be interesting to see what Microsoft brings to the table once RT devices start appearing on store-shelves and whether the market can sustain 3 distinct OSs for long (and two reasonably popular forks of Android).
  • Is this anything new??

    Whoa! Let's review a piece of history. Android 7" tablets are not something new... they were around long before the iPad ever saw the light of day. The problem has been that up until recently the seven inch Android tablets were nothing more than junk. Additionally, they were for the most part overpriced. Add the two together and you have a pretty worthless product.

    Reality is it's taken this long for both the hardware and the operating system to get up to speed (at least a decent speed) and offered at an affordable price!

    As an early user, I have always felt there would be a market for such a product if the obstacles could be overcome. It looks like my predictions from several years ago have finally arrived.
  • Win8 is a qame changer

    People will migrate to the win 8 platform because it addresses fragmentation. Everything Microsoft will run on it and interconnect seamlessly so that office, home and travelling will all me to move between different devises without having to update, download, etc. It's all moving towards a more synchronous singular interconnectedness.
    • Re: People will migrate to the win 8 platform because it addresses fragment

      Pity Win8 is such a big source of fragmentation itself, then.
    • Knowing what you are talking about

      The Win8 "platform" most certainly is NOT a "qame [sic] changer" and most certainly not only does not address fragmentation, it exacerbates it.
      In particular, Win8/RT does NOT run "everything Microsoft", only those things written specifically for ARM, and I guarantee you that no matter how much this is explained to people pre-purchase, there will be much post-purchase gnashing of teeth over software that does not run.