The late Steve Jobs was dead against releasing a smaller, cheaper iPad back in 2011, but now that he’s gone, Apple are doing it anyway according to the many rumours and leaks currently flying around the internet. So, why is that? Market share. While sales of the latest Retina iPad have increased, Apple’s market share has actually dropped massively since 2011, as the graphic below from market research firm Pew shows.
Tablet sales have been steadily increasing, but those sales have most definitely not all gone to Apple. Nowhere near it in fact, as it looks like people just don’t want to pay Apple’s premium pricing and not everyone wants an Apple-made tablet. In 2011, Apple’s iPad had a massive 81% market share, with Android at 15% and others at 4%. However, merely a year later, Apple’s market share has had a massive drop to just 52%, with Android now taking up a very significant 48%. Interestingly, it looks like Amazon’s new Kindle Fire has shot up to 21% market share, so the competitive threats are clear to see, hence Apple’s strategic move to make a cheaper iPad makes perfect sense. If Apple don’t do something quickly, then it’s quite likely that the iPad’s market share could easily drop to well below 50%, which would make Apple terribly unhappy.
We believe that Steve Jobs would have also changed his mind with figures like these, but unfortunately we’ll never be able to ask him. There’s a lot more detail about this at the link below.
While many believe that tablets are becoming substitutes for desktops and laptops (in addition to replacing print), the Pew research reveals that in fact, tablets are encouraging a new type of user, the multi-platform consumer.