Worldwide annual media tablet shipments are expected to top 120
million units in 2015. Android media tablets have collectively taken
20% market share away from the iPad in the last 12 months. However,
no single vendor using Android (or any other OS) has been able to
mount a significant challenge against it, ABI research says.
ABI Research mobile devices group director Jeff Orr comments, "Many
vendors have introduced media tablets, but none are separating
themselves from the pack to pose a serious threat to Apple. In fact,
most have introduced products at prices higher than
similarly-configured iPads. Apple, never a company to be waiting for
others, has introduced its second-generation iPad media tablet while
keeping product pricing unchanged."
Fragmentation within operating system software is hindering growth
of this device category. Application developers must choose an
initial software platform and may delay starting development if the
market potential is not significant. Google's Android OS has no less
than three different software builds deployed across media tablets
at the same time. The benefits of open software platform development
have yet to be realized for media tablets.
"De-featured, low-cost media tablets are being introduced by more
than fifty vendors in 2011," Orr says. "This will certainly help
bolster year-over-year growth for the category, but it also creates
a negative perception in the minds of the mass consumer audience
about the readiness of media tablets to be fully functional within
the next several years. Good user experiences and product response
are needed to propel this market beyond the 'early adopter' stage."