Android and Blackberry have already made deep in roads in the iPad’s presumed invincibility
Last May, the media was calling Apple’s iPad the unbeatable market leader. In less than a year Apple has lost major market share to Android and RIM.
RIM quietly gained 15% of the tablet market in Canada by dropping the entry-level price to $199 and aggressively selling through its own channel. Top corporate and government accounts could purchase Blackberry Playbooks at Christmas for as little as $99.
Being first to the market like Apple is only a short-term advantage in technology. Apple was first with a graphical computer but lost 94% of the market to Microsoft within 10 years. Apple created the modern smart phone in 2007 but has been relegated to a rump 16% market share in 5 years.
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The tablet market is only 2 years old and the slide to third place has already begun.
Price matters. The $199 was released in November In the US. Amazon.com had a run-away hit with its new Android tablet selling 4 million in December alone. Kindles can be purchased for as little as $79.
While Apple still dominates the tablet market, it has seen its market-share whittled to 59%. Android gained to achieve 39% of worldwide tablet sales in the 4th quarter of 2011.
Tablets are getting larger and smaller forcing Apple to rethink its strategy of delivering one 9.5″ screen. While he was alive, Steve Jobs insisted that was the right size people wanted. The Kindle Fire has a popular 7″ screen and will almost fit in a large pocket.
Price hasn’t been the only factor. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1″ is a competitive tablet that has Apple fighting back with lawsuits around the world for copying iPad features. Apple should develop better features instead of suing competitors.
Those cases won’t win. No one company can own a market. It would be comparable to Jeep being the only maker of 4 x 4′s or Porsche the only sports car.
The Asus eee Transformer Prime is the first quad-core tablet which out performs Apple’s dual-code iPad 2 in video and gaming.
This Android tablet also has a detachable keyboard and upgradable slot memory for the same price as the iPad 2.
The Asus eee Transformer Prime is powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor with 4 cores.
All that has happened without the 800-lb gorilla in the room shipping a real tablet operating system. When Microsoft ships Windows 8 this fall, it will have the same graphical Metro interface on the tablet that it uses on smart phones, desktops, laptops and servers.
Microsoft will ship 500 million Windows 8 desktop devices by Christmas 2013. How many tablets and smartphones is anyone’s guess.
Microsoft’s deep relationships with hardware manufacturers will mean the latest models ship with Windows 8. Ironically at the top of the Asus Transformer Prime website, it says “Asus recommends Windows 7.”
Apple’s has the iTunes store where you can live within the Apple ecosystem. Android has the Android Store. Microsoft has its own Microsoft Store where you can buy software, games, computers, Xbox, tablets and get support. The only thing they don’t have at the Microsoft store is music and movies but I’m sure that’s in the works. All Microsoft has to do is upgrade Zune. Microsoft has also opened bricks and mortar retail stores with incentives like free Zune streaming music for one year with the purchase of a phone.
The iPad broke open the tablet market and proved the concept in the market. It was just the beginning.
Where to buy
Rim Blackberry Playbook
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Amazon.com Samsung Galaxy Tab (10.1-Inch, 16GB, Wi-Fi)
Asus eee Transformer Prime