The fourth-quarter introduction of value-priced tablets, most notably the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook, created chaos across the Android tablet marketplace, forcing competitors to slash pricing in order to clear inventory.
“The surge in non-iPad shipments in the fourth quarter was achieved at considerable financial cost, with sharp price reductions across most of the competing Android tablets and actual product giveaways from a number of vendors as part of promotional efforts for other electronic products,” Alexander noted.
In the wake of the new low bar for pricing set by the Fire and the Nook and the looming Google acquisition of Motorola Mobility, manufacturers and branded vendors are looking to Windows 8 tablets as a more profitable alternative. Watch for a surge of Windows 8 and ARM microprocessor-based tablets in late 2012 and early 2013.
Apple’s Tablet Plans
Apple is set to reclaim its tablet market share when it commences volume shipments of the next version of the iPad, which is expected in the second quarter of this year.
IHS iSuppli anticipates strong sales for the iPad 3, with demand expected to outstrip supply for several months. The new device is reported to feature a QXGA retina display with a pixel format of 2,048 by 1,536, as well as SIRI, the popular voice interface of the iPhone 4S. As with previous iPad releases, Apple is anticipated to stage a staggered rollout, introducing the new product in different countries around the globe as supply improves.
Media Tablet 2011 Results
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