Apple’s Tablet Computer Market Dominance Fading Rapidly

Pew Research’s reports that while tablet computer ownership has rapidly increased from 11% of U.S. adults in July of 2011 to 18% in January of 2012, and a separate survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project on July 16 through August 7 2012 that found 25% of all U.S. adults now have a tablet computer, this rate of growth in tablet adoption likely being related to the advent of lower-priced tablets in late 2011. The researchers note that about two-thirds of tablet-owning adults, 68%, got their tablet in the last year, including 32% in 2012 alone.

One consequence has been to diminish Apple’s dominance in the media tablet market, with just over half, 52%, of tablet owners in this latest survey reporting owning an iPad, compared with 81% in the survey a year ago. Android-based devices make up the bulk of the remaining tablet ownership, 48% overall, dominated largely by the Kindle Fire. Two in ten, 21%, own a Kindle Fire, 8% the Samsung Galaxy, and the rest, a mix of others. The report notes that these numbers match very closely with sales data which put the Apple iPad at 61% of world sales, Android devices at 31% and Windows at 4%.)[1]

It’s notable that this survey was conducted before the introduction of Google’s Nexus 7 or Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, or the new Nook series of tablets from Barnes & Noble.

The researchers observe that the influx of Android-based devices has changed the tablet market, much as it did for smartphones over the past several years. Of the 44% of adults who have a smartphone, 46% have an Android phone, 38% have an iPhone and 10% have a Blackberry.

it is also noted that among users with both a tablet and a smartphone, there is some operating system loyalty, with a majority of iPad owners who also have smartphones owning an iPhone (57%); while just 32% have an Android phone. Similarly, 66% of those who have an Android tablet have an Android phone and 29% have an iPhone.

[1] CBS News. “Worldwide Market Share for Tablet Systems.” August 24, 2012.

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