Acting as armed guards protecting the honor of the Queen, tech blogs and press across the Internet exploded in unison yesterday in an effort to right wrongs committed against the magical, and apparently peerless iPad. A report on Monday suggested that Android tablets — namely the Samsung Galaxy Tab — had finally put a dent in the iPad’s consumer tablet market share, causing it to drop from 96% to 77% last quarter. The firm issuing the report was immediately ambushed by the iPad army… those are shipments, not sales to end users, it cried. Of course Strategy Analytics, the firm behind the report, was indeed comparing apples to apples, of course, using Android tablet shipments as well as iPad shipments in its report. More →
Lead by the impressive sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, the Android platform is finally starting to gain momentum in the emerging consumer tablet market. Analytics firm Strategy Analytics reports that Android owned 22% of the global tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2010. The iPad’s share of the market dropped from 96% to 75% in the fourth quarter last year, according to the report. Apple shipped 7.3 million iPads last quarter, up 74% from the third quarter, while 2.1 million Android tablets were shipped — 2 million of which were built by Samsung. But Samsung won’t be carrying the market on its own for long. Android is already well on its way to overrunning the consumer tablet market as it did with smartphones. Over 100 tablets were announced at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, and about half of them will run Android. With multiple new Android tablets launching each month compared to one new iPad from Apple each year, Google’s OS is bound to continue growing. RIM is also preparing to launch the BlackBerry PlayBook as its first tablet offering this year, which could sell as many as 6 million units during its first year of availability. More →
Led by tremendous continued demand for Apple’s iPad, tablet sales helped drive impressive 19% fourth-quarter growth in the global PC market according to research firm Canalys. Strong Mac and iPad sales resulted in 241% growth year-over-year for the Cupertino-based company, which passed Dell this quarter to become the third-largest PC vender in the world. Shipments jumped from 3.4 million to 11.5 million units, and Apple now owns 10.8% of the global PC market. Ahead of Apple is Acer, which saw 8.8% growth year-over-year in the fourth quarter. The company shipped 13.6 million PCs amounting to 12.8% of the global market. Atop the list with 17.7% of the market is HP, which shipped 18.7 million computers in the fourth quarter. Year-over-year growth slowed to 2.9%, however, while companies like Dell and Lenovo showed double-digit growth. HP plans to enter the tablet market in the first half of this year, and it is expected to announce its first tablet devices at a press event next month.
As to whether or not tablets like the Apple iPad should be included in PC sales figures, Canalys Senior Analyst Daryl Chiam addresses the question quite well: “Any argument that a pad is not a PC is simply out of sync,” Chiam said in a statement. “With screen sizes of seven inches or above, ample processing power, and a growing number of applications, pads offer a computing experience comparable to netbooks. They compete for the same customers and will happily coexist. As with smart phones, some users will require a physical keyboard, while others will do without.” Hit the break for Canalys’ full release. More →
In a note to investors Tuesday morning, RBC Capital Markets GM Mike Abramsky suggests that RIM may sell 6 million BlackBerry PlayBook tablets in the device’s first year of availability. In an independent survey of 1,100 consumers conducted after the Consumer Electronics Show in January, RBC found that 6% of respondents were likely to purchase the BlackBerry PlayBook once it comes available. This represents almost 50% of the interest shown in the iPad ahead of launch, according to a similar RBC survey. The firm’s data shows that the PlayBook is appealing to early adopters and power users, and key areas of interest compared to Apple’s iPad include the 7-inch form factor, impressive specs, multitasking capabilities, speed and power, the BlackBerry brand and the security features. As a result of the strong buying intentions revealed by its survey, RBC contends that the PlayBook could sell 4 million units in the 2011 calendar year and 6 million units in its first 12 months of availability. The firm’s new sales estimates are significantly higher than Wall Street’s consensus of 2-3 million units in the 2011 calendar year. RBC expects the Wi-Fi-only version of the BlackBerry PlayBook to launch in mid-March at a price point between $399 and $449, with 3G and 4G versions to follow this summer. The firm also reiterated its price target of $90 for RIM’s stock.
Ok, let’s not get too excited just yet… this one is kind of a stretch. The current generation of Apple’s magical iPad tablet was announced on January 27th — a Wednesday. Icons representing the iPad, seen above on the left, show “27” as the date on the calendar. Apple’s latest iOS beta, however, includes a new icon for the iPad that shows a “9” on the calendar app. As it happens, February 9th lines up pretty well with earlier rumors and we all know a second-generation iPad announcement is imminent at this point. Oh, and the 9th is also a Wednesday. Would Apple be playful enough to lob a clue like this out to the masses? It would be uncharacteristic indeed, but crazier things have certainly happened.
UPDATE: BGR reader Tim points out that the the current publicly available iOS software on the iPad also shows a “9” on the iPad’s calendar icon when you change the wallpaper. As such, we can safely call this rumor debunked. More →
Earlier today, curious news swept the Web. According to a tweet from Playboy boss Hugh Hefner, the popular men’s magazine will soon land on the iPad — uncensored. The automatic assumption was that Hef was talking about a forthcoming uncensored new version of the Playboy app, which would of course contradict Apple’s current policy against adult content in the App Store. Is Tim Cook already running amok in CEO Steve Jobs’ absence? Not at all. It turns out that Playboy is working on an uncensored Web-based subscription version of its site that will be designed for the iPad’s mobile Safari browser. The Playboy app available in the App Store, however, will remain as censored as ever. In the immortal words of one Steven Paul Jobs: “Folks who want porn can buy [an] Android phone.” More →
Tawain’s Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK) said Wednesday that global tablet PC shipments in 2011 are expected to total 48 million units. The number sharply contradicts figures reported earlier today by DigiTimes, which suggest Apple will sell 65 million iPad tablets alone next year. The IEK is part of Taiwan`s government-funded Industrial Technology Research Institute, which issued a report regarding the potential impact of tablets, smartphones, smart TVs and 3D displays on the Taiwanese economy in 2011. The report notes that Apple’s iPad will be the firm leader in worldwide tablet sales next year, though Android will account for 25% of global sales, or 12 million units. The IEK also states that Android-powered smartphone shipments are estimated to total 270 million units in 2011 — six times the projections for 2010. More →
When Apple’s iPad was first introduced earlier this year, magazine publishers saw a great opportunity to combat declining subscriptions with a new distribution channel. The iOS-powered iPad would also allow publishers to get creative and introduce enhanced, interactive features that could not be achieved with traditional print. According to numbers available from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, however, magazine publishers’ hopes of having found a savior in the iPad are all but dashed. Every big name magazine title available on the iPad has seen its purchase rate decline since introduction, and most didn’t find much success to begin with. More →
According to hit or miss industry watcher DigiTimes, Apple is betting big on the iPad in 2011. The site estimates that iPad manufacturers will ship 65 million units for Apple in 2011, a figure that is almost double the market consensus. According to the report, which is based on checks within various display manufacturers, iPad panel builders will be quite busy next year. LG Display will reportedly receive orders for 35 million iPad displays over the course of 2011, while Samsung Electronics and Chimei Innolux will each build 15 million panels. While DigiTimes has a number of accurate forecasts to its credit over the years, we definitely don’t see this report ending up in its win column. More →
In a note to investors this week, Wedge Partners’ Principal and Equity Analyst Brian Blair had some strong words for iPad rivals’ retail performance over the holidays. Seemingly not one to mince words, Blair said that consumers had little or no interest in tablets other than the iPad this holiday season, calling the iPad’s competition underpowered junk. While Samsung Galaxy Tab sales have been quite strong thus far, Blair’s retail checks didn’t turn up much demand for the Tab or other Android tablets.
Even with a handful of tablet competitors hitting the market, the iPad remained the only game in town in our holiday checks largely because many of the tablets hitting the market are junk for lack of a better word. They are underpowered, poorly constructed and largely not ready for prime time.
Blair also noted that demand for Apple’s MacBook Air, iMac and MacBook Pro lines was stronger than expected this holiday season, which could lead to another huge quarter. More →
Apple further reduced its pricing on refurbished iPad models this week, offering discounts of up to $100 off the price of a new iPad. The price drops only apply to the iPad Wi-Fi models, and total discounts range from $70 to $100. Pricing is now as follows:
- Refurbished iPad Wi-Fi (16GB): $429
- Refurbished iPad Wi-Fi (32GB): $499
- Refurbished iPad Wi-Fi (64GB): $599
The discount applied to refurbished iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models remains at $50, and there has been no indication that Apple might lower pricing on the 3G models any further. Apple’s website notes that reduced pricing on its refurbished iPad Wi-Fi models is only applicable for a limited time, though it does not specify when the promotion will end. All refurbished iPads purchased directly from Apple come with a new battery, a new outer case and a 1-year warranty. More →
Following news that the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS would become available at Target stores on November 7th, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that Apple’s iPad will soon be available at all Best Buy Mobile locations. Apple continues to widen its net ahead of the 2010 holiday season, pushing popular products like the iPad and iPhone to as many new distributors as possible. Just last week, Apple added cellular giants Verizon Wireless and AT&T to its list of iPad vendors. Now, 158 stand-alone Best Buy Mobile locations will offer the popular iOS tablet by Thanksgiving. This is of course in addition to Best Buy’s standard retail locations, which have been selling the iPad since it launched this past April. Apple has already sold over 4 million iPads and with supply finally catching up to demand, the popular tablet is certain to be a hot item during the holiday season. More →
A new $7,000 report released Monday by research firm Strategy Analytics takes an in-depth look at the hot new tablet PC market. We’ll give you the highlights for free. In the report, SA states that Apple’s iPad owned a mammoth 95.5% of the global tablet market in the third quarter of this year. Android tablets, the second largest group of tablets, made up 2.3% of the market. The report goes on to speculate that the coming onslaught of Android tablets will level the playing field quickly, though consumers have yet to prove that they have any interest in tablet PCs whatsoever. At this point, consumers have only shown an interest in the iPad, albeit an overwhelming interest. No other manufacturer has shown that it has the ability to build a tablet with allure or mass-appeal that comes anywhere close to matching Apple’s offering. The more likely scenario is one that will mimic the path 3D TV is taking — the market will become so flooded with tablet PCs that slow but steady adoption will be inevitable.