Would be tablet buyers have never had so many choices. Seven-inch, 8-inch, 10- and 11-inch models are available in a variety of price points and configurations.
You can also go name brand or pick from a raft of relative no-name brands selling tablets at rock bottom prices.
It all adds up to hundreds of millions of tablets out there. But at the low end, no-name end of the market, how many of these tablets are put to good use? Many many end up tucked away in a drawer somewhere (if not the scrap heap) because they didn’t prove to be as useful as the buyer thought? Maybe the screen was subpar, it ran an old version of Android or simply didn’t perform well.
But even without the no-names, the installed base of name brand tablets, the iPad, Galaxy Tab, Surface 2, Kindle Fire’s of the world, is huge.
New figures from ABI Research estimates the installed base of name brand tablets will top 285 million units by the end of this year.
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Apple still leads, just not as much
“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.
The research firm says Apple will still control about 51% of the tablet installed base by year’s end, with Android picking up a healthy 40% share.
While Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7 have become established brands with a growing user base, Samsung remains top dog on the Android side. ABI Research says Samsung’s tablets, including the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab, had 20% growth in the third quarter of 2013.
Apple actually was down 4% in Q3 from the earlier quarter and iPad revenue slipped 3%. But ABI Research says that dip will be short-lived thanks to the new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display.
“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,” said Orr.
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