Apple's iPad rules the tablet roost, but Amazon's Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble's Nook Tablet have expanded the addressable tablet market. Accordingly, Forrester Research is raising its tablet sales totals to 112.5 million through 2016.
(NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad HD (or iPad 3?) launch March 7 is stirring up tablet talk
mania to a fever pitch, so it's only fitting that Forrester Research is
ratcheting up its guidance for tablet unit shipments through 2016.
said it expects 112.5 million U.S. adults to have a tablet by 2016, up from
82.1 million in its earlier forecast. Part of the 30 million-plus unit bump in
Forrester's estimations can certainly be attributed to the category-defining
popularity of the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android-based Amazon Kindle Fire tablet
and Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet helped expand the addressable market by
costing less than half that of the iPad, explained Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps in a blog post
cheapest iPad 2, for example, costs $499. Amazon launched its Kindle Fire last
November for $199, selling somewhere between 4 million and 6 million units
The Nook Tablet, which launched at $249, also now costs $199.
Why have these
Android tablets succeeded while premium Android tablets from Samsung, HTC and
Motorola Mobility have seen lackluster sales? After all, those tablets are
priced around the $500 to $700 mark of the iPad models, with varying storage.
First, the low
cost of the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet lured users who couldn't or were
reluctant to shell out $500 or more for another media-enabling device.
said her data showed that many consumers didn't think they needed tablets they
weren't sure what they could do with; the premium Android tablets lack the
expansive content ecosystem that comes with the iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook
about the serviceswhat you can do with the device, which is why Apple, Amazon
and B&N have succeeded in the US where pure hardware plays have
failed," Epps wrote.
Apple appears to
be not just maintaining but expanding its current lead. U.S. buyers accounted
for only 43 percent of the 55 million iPads Apple sold through the fourth
plenty of prospective buyers for the company to target with the iPad HD, which
will be unveiled in San Francisco March 7
. The device is
expected to possess a higher-resolution screen, faster processor and could be
equipped with a 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) radio.
meanwhile is expected to combat the iPad train's momentum with its own tablet,
possibly a Nexus-branded slate, later this year. Details on the device are
vague, but Android creator Andy Rubin has acknowledged Google must "double down"
on Android devices this year to aggressively court consumers.
Epps said Apple should counter the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet with a low-cost
slate of its own. Amazon, in turn, should take Apple head on by licensing its
platform to other hardware OEMs.
interesting gamble, the analyst argued that Android OEMs Samsung, HTC, Toshiba
and Lenovo should consider jettisoning Android tablet development for Windows 8
machines in the U.S.
almost makes sense when one considers that the Windows 8 Metro user interface
looks pretty slick on a tablet, even compared with the latest Android 4.0, or
Ice Cream Sandwich, build.