Despite pumping another 60 million e-reading devices into the market, including 16 million iPads, Apple may be losing its grip on the tablet market.
According to a new report from ABI Research, Apple competitors grew their tablet businesses by a combined 79%, while Apple managed only 13% growth. While more Android and other tablets are entering the market than iPads today, Apple still exceeds all of its competitors combined when it comes to revenues it generates from selling tablets, according to the report.
Among e-readers in the U.S., there is some evidence that this shift is starting to have an effect. Among children, the Kindle Fire is a more popular reading device than the iPad, according to a recent report.
To be sure, when it comes to selling ebooks, Apple has seemed to have made strides against its competitors in the U.S. and, for some authors and publishers, now sells more ebooks than Barnes & Noble. Apple reportedly continues to grow in ebook sales in the U.S., while Barnes & Noble has continued to shrink.
iPad Growth Slows in 2013 as Tablet Competitors Grow 79%
In the past year Apple’s tablet OEM competitors experienced a growth of 79%, while Apple experienced only 13% growth in tablet shipments. Despite growing challenges, as the tablet market reaches saturation in advanced world markets, ABI Research projects Apple to remain a strong force in the market if it emphasizes its strengths and explores new opportunities.
ABI Research explored the history of Apple and its iPad business model, which has delivered tremendous success for Apple. “Historically, Apple has dominated the market, but the current shift in the ecosystem has raised question marks over its control and future,” says ABI Research analyst Stephanie Van Vactor. Although its competitors using Google’s Android OS have surpassed Apple’s unit volume, iPad revenues for 2013 still exceeded the rest of the market by 11%.
Apple and the tablet market have reached a fork in the road; however, opportunities to explore new avenues do exist. Apple’s creative vision has been the core of its business model and iPad implementation. Apple’s “less is more” strategy gives it the innate ability to show success in the early stages but begins to display signs of vulnerability as the market matures. Is Apple losing its momentum, or are Samsung and others catching up as consumers are presented with a variety of choices in display size, connectivity, and price?
With the right partnerships, especially in the business and education sectors, iPad could continue to expand its market reach. “Apple has the power to market to different regions where tablet adoption is low, and building relationships with business vertical sectors can help expand its breadth,” adds senior practice director Jeff Orr. Although Apple’s ASP for its iPad remains considerably higher than other tablet OEMs, it still has the advantage of offering its closed iOS ecosystem services via the iTunes app store.
The “Analysis of Apple’s Tablet Business Model” analysis is part of ABI Research’s Media Tablets, Ultrabooks and eReaders Market Research.
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.