September 14, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Research company IDC thinks retail demand will cool on Android tablets. After previously saying that Android ships 34 percent of the available tablets on the market, IDC thinks Android will drop to 23 percent over the next three months before slightly rebounding to 25.9 percent.
The culprit for this drop? The HP Touchpad of course. According to IDC – and our good friend, Captain Obvious – the Touchpad and its $99 price tag has captured the attention of many people who were “on the fence” about buying a tablet. While consumers weren’t sure if they needed a $500 plaything like they’d find in most Android tablets, the Touchpad’s ultracheap price proved too appealing to pass up. Tens of thousands were sold during HP’s firesale, so a large portion of the non-iPad tablet market has already been spoken for, leaving Android tablet manufacturers as the big losers in the second half of 2011.
All is not lost in terms of shipments. Analyst Jennifer Song believes:
“Apple’s iOS share will continue to lead by more than 40 percentage points over Google’s Android for the remainder of the year, but we expect Apple’s share to fall closer to 50% by the end of the forecast period as manufacturers bring new tablets to market.”
As I noted previously, these are tablet shipments to retailers, not sales percentages. Apple sells practically everything that it ships and will dominate the tablet market as a result. Android vendors don’t sell as well, and the competition from cheap tablet alternatives from Amazon and HP won’t help matters. Honeycomb tablets are going to have to do something special to capture buyers attentions.