Tablet Tales

In no particular order:

1 WitsView (a division of  TrendForce a Taiwan based global provider of market intelligence) forsee Windows overtaking Android in marketshare terms by 2015. They forecast that by then whilst iOS remain market dominant with a 59% share Windows will have risen to 21% overtaking a declining Android at 19%.

Their reasoning is the ongoing patent wars with their associated obstacles as well as the availability of business software such as Office on the Windows platform.

As previously mentioned we think that Apple’s tablet market share may well reduce to less than 50% in the foreseeable future as the new offerings from Google (Nexus 7), Amazon (the New Kindle Fires) and Microsoft (Surface) gain market share but we will be surprised if Windows gets ahead of Android by 2015. There is also in our view the possibility of other operating systems gaining market share by 2015. We shall see.

2.  Amazon started to ship the first new Kindle Fires last Friday and some reviews are already beginning to appear. Here’s Walt Mossman’s (Wall Street Journal)


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3. J D Power (part of the McGraw Hill stable) have produced the results of some July research with the inaugural U.S. Tablet Satisfaction StudySM  (pdf) involving 2,000 ish tablet owners (this was effectively pre Nexus 7 shipments) and have come up with a remarkably result. Their ranking system gave a maximum score of 1,000 and the iPad “won” with 848 points with Kindle Fire a VERY close second at 841. “The study measures tablet owner satisfaction among those who have owned their tablet for less than two years. Satisfaction is measured across five key factors. In order of importance, they are: performance (26%), ease of operation (22%), styling and design (19%), features (17%), and price (16%).”

They, sort of caveat, their findings by saying there’s no weighting so we guess if you asked 5 owners of a specific tablet what they thought of it they are most unlikely to criticise it heavily!

It would be useful in future surveys to have some comparatives from say respondents who had access to more than one tablet or who had used several within the last quarter.

4. Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer had a Q and A session with The Seattle Times  and it’s being widely interpreted as including a heavy steer that the Surface will NOT be priced at $199.

Here’s the actual Q & A!

“Q: The iPad has the largest share of the tablet market, but its soft spot, it seems to me, is the price. With the Surface, are you planning to compete with the iPad on price or on features?

A: We haven’t announced pricing. I think we have a very competitive product from the features perspective. …

I think most people would tell you that the iPad is not a superexpensive device. … (When) people offer cheaper, they do less. They look less good, they’re chintzier, they’re cheaper.

If you say to somebody, would you use one of the 7-inch tablets, would somebody ever use a Kindle (Kindle Fire, $199) to do their homework? The answer is no; you never would. It’s just not a good enough product. It doesn’t mean you might not read a book on it….

If you look at the bulk of the PC market, it would run between, say, probably $300 to about $700 or $800. That’s the sweet spot.”

Hmmm we tend to agree with the other pundits  -  probably not a $199 product!

In other Surface news Microsoft have decided to equip all their 90,000 ish full time employees (known as Blue Badges) with one. They announced this at their annual employee meeting,  also held in Seattle, last week. Additionally they get a new work PC and a Windows 8 phone for home & work use! Wow.

5. Google’s Nexus 7 doesn’t seem to warrant huge coverage at the minute with simply a few Nexus 7 v’s Kindle Fire HD comparisons/throwdowns. The comments are numerous but the content wins on the Fires but Apps on the Nexus, to us, (with our Nexus) seems  to be a substsantiable conclusion amongst many!

6. Apple’s iPads are currently somewhat eclipsed by their iPhone 5 announcements and reception. They today announced that iPhone 5 preorders reached 2 million in the first 24 hours which was more than double the iPhone 4S previous record! We fully expect iPads to grab the headlines both in the context of Apple’s quarterly results due in mid October likely followed rapidly by the MiNi iPad “event”. We noticed on iPad sales that Tim Cook stayed with the 84 million sales to date (that’s to the end of June 2012) rather than the likely already exceeded figure of 100 million we anticipated.

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