HP's TouchPad likely share gains show Android's tenuous tablet position

HP's TouchPad is likely to ding Android tablet market share in the third quarter.

HP's TouchPad---and the $99 fire sale that came with its death---will slow the market share gains for Android tablets, according to IDC.

IDC said global media tablet shipments surged 303.8 percent in the second quarter compared to a year ago -- to 13.6 million units. IDC is forecasting 62.5 million units for 2011, up from its previous outlook for 53.5 million units.

That overview, however, is a footnote to the market share battle in tablets. As everyone knows, Apple's iPad is top dog with 68.3 percent market share. RIM grabbed 4.9 percent of the market with its PlayBook and Android tablet share fell to 26.8 percent in the second quarter, down from 34 percent in the first quarter.

The upshot is that Apple and RIM thwarted Android's tablet advance. RIM's showing was solid overall, but the real hit to Android market share will come from HP's TouchPad.

HP killed the TouchPad, but its liquidation sale was a hit. IDC said:

IDC expects many consumers who were on the fence about buying a media tablet to scoop up $99 TouchPads as a result of HP's decision to end production of its tablet product. IDC expects close to a million TouchPads to ship into the channel before the end of the year. As a result, WebOS's worldwide market share is forecast to reach 4.7% in 3Q11. However, with no clear plan to license or sell the OS to other vendors, IDC expects WebOS market share to shrink back to zero by 1Q12.

The bottom line is Android's tablet share will fall to 23 percent in the third quarter before rebounding in the fourth quarter. It's clear that price matters and Android tablets need to become less expensive in a hurry to gain market share.

In fact, Android's tablet march looks downright shaky for the likes of Motorola, HTC, Samsung and others. Consider:

  • A soon-to-be-defunct tablet derailed Android market share.
  • An Amazon tablet will give consumers more choice with a quasi-Android device.
  • A year from now there will be Windows 8 tablets available.

None of those items are good for massive Android market share gains.