ChangeWave’s Vice President of Research Paul Carton, Ph.D. asks now the initial excitement over the new iPad is subsiding, whether there are there any other tablet makers showing signs they can compete against Apple in the tablet market?
A May ChangeWave survey of 2,893 consumers took a close-up look at North American tablet demand, and finds Apple’s iPad continuing to dominate consumer buying plans going forward. The only other manufacturer showing some signs of momentum is Samsung.
Consumer Tablet Demand Next 90 Days
ChangeWave’s previous two surveys forecasted huge jumps in consumer tablet demand – November’s due to the holiday spending season followed by a March 2012 leap caused by the new iPad release.
“In the aftermath, our May survey shows overall tablet demand has returned to more normal levels,” says Carton, “with 7 percent of respondents saying they plan on buying a tablet in the next 90 days.”
But when it comes to consumer demand for individual manufacturers, 73% of planned tablet buyers are still reporting they’ll purchase an iPad. And while that’s down a bit from the extraordinary demand levels seen at the time of the March new iPad launch, it’s a clear sign that Apple’s massive domination of the market is continuing going forward.
Amazon (8%) remains a far distant second, followed by Samsung (6%) – which while still in single digits has managed to double its share of planned purchases since last quarter and is the only other manufacturer besides Apple showing some signs of market strength going forward.
Other than that, no other manufacturer is garnering more than 3% of planned purchases.
A key finding here is the diminishing strength of Amazon within the tablet market. ChangeWave notes that the Kindle Fire launch back in November was initially highly successful, and at the time had correctly forecasted it would be the first big double-digit tablet contender against Apple and would wreak a major blow against other second tier manufacturers.
But by the time of ChangeWave’s March 2012 survey – with the new Apple iPad launch stealing the momentum – demand for the Kindle Fire tumbled. The big question since then has been can the Amazon Kindle Fire rebound?
As the following charts show, it’s been more than two months since the new iPad release and Amazon is still floundering at nowhere near the levels reached at the time of its initial launch.
Kindle Fire planned buying is now down two-thirds since November 2011, and a clue to Amazon’s problem can be seen in the tablet satisfaction ratings of its owners.
Previous ChangeWave surveys found that the percentage of tablet owners who say they are Very Satisfied with a particular device is highly predictive of future demand.
And while Apple sets the bar with 4-in-5 new iPad owners (81%) saying they’re Very Satisfied with their device, the Amazon Kindle Fire trails well behind with only a 41% Very Satisfied rating.
Importantly, Amazon’s Very Satisfied rating has declined by 15-percentage points since the February 2012 ChangeWave survey a downward trend they’ll need to overcome in order to regain their previous firm footing in the tablet market.
The iPad 2 has a solid 71% Very Satisfied rating and the Samsung Galaxy Tab a 46% Very Satisfied rating.
Overall, how satisfied are you with your tablet device?
Potential Impact of a Mini-iPad
A second potential threat to the Amazon Kindle Fire and the other second tier tablet manufacturers is the possibility of Apple releasing a smaller 7-inch version of the iPad this fall. Such a new iPad mini would likely have the same features as the current iPad but with a smaller screen.
If released, most analysts expect it would cost $299 for a 16GB Wi-Fi-only model only $100 more than the Kindle Fire. To measure consumer interest in such a device, Catron says ChangeWave presented respondents with a likely description of the iPad Mini and asked:
“Some analysts think Apple may release a smaller 7-inch version of the iPad this fall. This new “iPad mini” would likely have the same features of the current iPad (i.e., A5X processor, Retina display, 5MP camera) but with a smaller screen. The iPad Mini is expected to cost $299 for the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model.
“How likely is it that you will buy an Apple ‘iPad mini’ for yourself or someone else (e.g., a family member) if-and-when it becomes available?”
A total of 3% of consumers say they’re Very Likely and 14% Somewhat Likely to buy an iPad-Mini if-and-when it were to become available highly encouraging numbers for Apple and a further worrisome finding for the other manufacturers.
“At the moment, the greatest competitive threat to the new iPad could well be the iPad Mini which doesn’t exist yet, but even if it ever does, it too will be made by Apple,” says Dr. Carton. “When it comes to tablets, the ChangeWave survey shows Apple continuing to exert near total control over the market.”
For more information, visit:
ChangeWave’s Complete Consumer Tablet, PC and Ultrabook Report: The Battle For Market Share Can Anyone Take On Apple?
25 pages/PDF Format (173K)