Smaller iPad will help Apple dominate tablet market for years to come

4 Jul 2012

The latest Apple iPad

If reports are true that Apple is planning a smaller version of the iPad in the near future and at a similar price point to the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7, then Apple is likely to dominate the tablet market for a long time, a Frost & Sullivan analyst said today.

Apple has defined and dominated the consumer tablet market since the release of the original iPad in 2010, still enjoying an over 60pc market share today,” said Frost & Sullivan’s Craig Cartier.

Cartier said iPad’s market dominance, along with Apple’s brand strength, mean that any consumer considering a tablet will default to the iPad, and will need a significant argument to be pulled away from this preference.

Fresh reports today added more impetus to the rumours that Apple is planning a sub-US$200 device.

“Considering Apple’s dominance, it is hard to say that any competitor has fully succeeded in offering consumers this argument, but if any argument can be made, it revolves around price. 

“The Kindle Fire, for example, one of the few tablets to have established a legitimate market foothold next to the iPad, retails at US$199, compared to the latest iPad’s range of about US$500 to US$800, a stark difference.

“Apple’s strategy for a smaller, cheaper tablet would drastically reduce this price differential, make a harder argument for customers to deviate from Apple, and mean a tougher road ahead for players like Amazon and Google. 

“Apple has dominated the early stages of the tablet market, and if this latest rumour is true we can expect that dominance to continue,” Cartier said in a note today.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years