The Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) media tablet market doubled in Q2 2011, driven by multiple launches of Android-based devices, and soon to be joined by other players globally such as the Amazon Kindle Fire.
Media tablet shipments doubled in Q2 from the previous quarter, with 420,000 units shipped, according to IDC’s A/NZ Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker (2011 Q2). Australia contributed 87.5% of the total shipments, while the rest went to New Zealand.
“The market expansion was a combined effort of early adopters refreshing devices purchased last year and new users who were interested in a media tablet as a complementary device, with some waiting for more non-Apple variety,” said Yee-Kuan Lau, Market Analyst for IDC A/NZ. “That said, there is still strong demand for Apple's iPad 2 since its launch at the end of March.
“The supply-side push from the new Android players in the market, particularly amongst the traditional PC hardware vendors, has caused a large rollout of stock into national retailers to strengthen their brand presence. However, at this stage, most vendors were testing the initial market response by introducing WiFi-only models.”
In Q2, Android-based media tablets in A/NZ tripled in volume from Q1, taking up close to 25% of the total A/NZ market size. Meanwhile, Apple iPad 2 doubled in volume from Q1, but its market share declined to 74.6%. The rest of the shipments went to RIM's PlayBook, which has only launched in Australia at the end of Q2, and New Zealand in early August.
“The Apple user experience is now extended to an even larger audience with the additional Apple stores recently opened in Australia," said Ms. Lau. "Acer, on the other hand, led the Android market in Q2 with strong sell-through thanks to being one of the first few to launch a Honeycomb device.
"We expect the strong brand presence, the user experience and the halo effect to help maintain Apple’s dominance in the market despite the multiple launches of Android-based media tablets."
The overwhelming response to HP's TouchPad fire sales in A/NZ after the vendor decided to cease support for the product is evidence of price points being a key purchasing driver among end users, especially those looking for a secondary computing device. IDC expects, however, the WebOS share to shrink to zero by Q4 2011.
Amazon Kindle Fire, announced on September 28, is another good example that positions Amazon to be a leading digital media content seller that emphasises on the application ecosystem as its key differentiator. Its direct impact on the A/NZ media tablet market won’t be known for some time as it is currently available in the US only. But, it has redefined end user expectations about what a media tablet can do and can cost, with the Fire being priced at US$199.
Android-based media tablets are projected to reach at least 300,000 units by the end of 2011, but with Apple expected to continue to be the dominant player with more than 70% market share. IDC expects approximately 1.3 million units of media tablets shipped into the A/NZ channel by the end of the year.