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iPad’s Future Prospects for Tablet Market Share

Bloomberg:

A wider range of cheaper devices with Google features like YouTube and Google Maps will probably erode the iPad’s market dominance, said Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics. Its share of the global tablet market will probably drop to 67 percent this quarter, he said.

We now know this is factually wrong. Those numbers are based on Samsung’s claims of two million “sold” units, when in fact they only shipped two million units to retailers. Samsung has not revealed how many Galaxy Tabs have actually been sold.

The cheapest version of the iPad, which only has Wi-Fi connectivity and 16 gigabytes of memory, costs $499 in the U.S. Acer plans to introduce an Android powered tablet in April that will likely sell for as little as $299, Jim Wong, Acer’s head of information-technology products, said in November.

“Apple’s volumes will continue to go up, but market share will inevitably go down,” Mawston said in an interview. “Even at $500 retail, based on some of the research we’ve done, that’s probably two or three times more than what most mass market consumers are expecting to pay.”

This assumes that Apple won’t push toward lower prices. That’s a bad assumption. Apple has kept the iPod on top of the music player market for a decade by lowering pricing.

“If you were to ask me in two years time, will Apple have less than 50 percent of the global tablet market, I think that’s a certainty,” Mawston said.

A certainty, eh?

It’s also worth pointing out that Neil Mawston is the same analyst who, back in June, declared that the iPhone’s “honeymoon period is over”:

“The honeymoon period for Apple in the mobile world is clearly coming to an end,” Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston wrote. “Apple was criticized for its intensive production methods in China, while the iPhone has been heavily criticized for its poorly designed touchable antenna, and may have lost some heartshare in recent weeks because of its perceived mishandling of the antenna problem.”

The iPhone 4 is now the best-selling handset in the entire world.

Monday, 31 January 2011