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back to article Android seven-inchers swipe rug from under Apple

The question is, does Apple’s tablet market share - or Android’s for that matter - actually matter? Apple is certainly selling more of the darn things, but after a brief year’s relief, sales of Android alternatives are rising even more quickly. According to ABI Research, a market watcher, Apple’s share of the world tablet market …

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Anonymous Coward

"releasing products styled to match Apple’s."

God I hope not! iPad design = EPIC FAILURE in terms of style.

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Facepalm

It's still got 55% of the market two years after launch. If that's a fail what do you count as a success?

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Anonymous Coward

Losing 45% of the market share in 2 years.

Seems alot worse when you put it like that.

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Silver badge

Indeed. I mean, I recall the story of Nokia, who in the early 2000s had something like 70% share of smartphones, but this dropped as the decade went on.

In fact, their fall only actually came after 2011, with the Symbian to WP switch. Until then, Symbian was the number one OS. And it wasn't simply that sales were falling - in fact, in many years, sales continued to increase, despite market share falling, because market share is a flawed statistic to compare platforms in a growing market. In fact, even when the sales were increasing by a larger number than competitors (in absolute sales), it is still possible for the market share figure to fall, whilst those competitors increased their share.

But no, that didn't stop years of doomongering from the media about how abysmal Nokia were, and how wonderful Apple were for increasing their market share (ignoring that they were in 4th or so position by platform and by company).

So you know what? I say, fair's fair - now that Apple's in the position of being number one, having increasing sales, but having falling market share, it's only fair to ignore the first two points, and focus on how rapidly their market share is falling.

(Pedantically, they would never have had 100% market share, as tablets existed and were in mainstream use before the ipad, we just called them "media players" instead - indeed, even the first Android tablets appeared in 2009, but weren't called tablets by the media then.)

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Anonymous Coward

Oh my eyes.. So much rubbish

Mark let me fix and summarise that for you:

Nokia smartphones didn't drop "in the last decade", they dropped after the iPhone came out 5 years ago - and significantly worsened after the 3G came out - and Nokia was caught without anything even close to being in the same ballpark of usability.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh my eyes.. So much rubbish

5 years ago is actually part of the last decade

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps the gains that Android is making are due to the fact that people are starting to get pissed off at Apple's bullying of other companies.

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Did you really think Apple was going to remain at basically 100% MS? They kick started the whole tablet market with the iPad and with no competition at the time it's easy to be at 100%. The competition finally started offering something comparable so yeah MS is going to drop. This is far from failure.

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It's all the Mac haters who dissed Apple for so many years that when Apple products became popular they had to save face and hold out until a rival made something comparable to buy. Believe me there are a LOT of them. Mostly IT and hardcore gamers. I saw so many of them refusing to buy iPods iPhones and iPads after there release when nothing on the market was comparable. You should have seen the relief in their faces when they actually could buy something comparable. I just shook my head when after a few years of them refusing to buy an iPhone and stick with their flip phones claiming there was nothing special about the iPhone and then as soon as a comparable came out they jumped on it and claimed how advanced it was to their previous phone. Chumps.

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Not surprised

I know that anecdotes don't count for shit, but tons of people i know have been asking questions about, Nexus 7's and Kindle Fires recently.

And usually when they find out that they do indeed have a Facebook and Twitter app, they get one.

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Go

Re: Not surprised

As you say, anecdotal evidence and all that. But...

My experience chimes with yours - mostly as Xmas presents for the kids, and far more Nexus 7s than Kindles. It's going to be a tablet christmas this year, at least in our office.

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WTF?

Ditto - but at this price??

http://www.lambda-tek.com/90OK0MI1101090U-Asus-Google-Nexus-7~cs/B1490372 - just as well you get £124 cashback if you purchase with a debit card... *ahem*

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not surprised

"And usually when they find out that they do indeed have a Facebook and Twitter app, they get one."

Good for them. But for for people who want more from tablets the iPad is still the best option.

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Happy

@ dx

Please enlighten me - what could I do on an iPad that I can't on my Nexus 10?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ dx

"Please enlighten me - what could I do on an iPad that I can't on my Nexus 10?"

Download iPlayer content.

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Thumb Up

Re: Ditto - but at this price??

seems perfectly reasonable to me. £17k is pretty cheap, or?

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Re: @ dx

"Please enlighten me - what could I do on an iPad that I can't on my Nexus 10?"

Put it in a docking station and use it for music production

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Flame

Re: @ dx

Fair point.

Though the complete clusterfuck that is currently iPlayer on Android is a BBC problem, not an Android one. Hopefully at some point they'll pull their collective fingers out of their arses and fix the shitty stream quality and tick the "works on 4.2" box (yeah, I know that's not actually how it's done...). Once they've done that, then I'll worry about direct downloads.

In the meantime I'll continue getting the stuff I want to watch on my tablet by other means....

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Mushroom

Does it matter?

Of course it does. Any market dominated by a single player is bad for consumers, and bad for innovation.

Seems to be good for patents, though...

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FAIL

More fake numbers by Google....

.. so all these Android tablets.. who the heck is using those? No one of those customers is using the tablets to either browse web sites nor buy apps,uh?

The iPad dominates all actual way more realistic and true online traffic statistics while only a few are using Android tablets. If Android had 50% of the market that couldn't happen of course. But it does indeed.

Then add to that the fact that those buy Android devices want everything for free and don't buy apps...

If developers trusted these fake statistics by either Google or Microsoft claiming that they managed to defeat Apple they all would go bankrupt wasting their precious time and resources (the freelancers and small software houses and startups for sure) on either Android or Win8/WinRT8/WinPhone8.

All these claims are fake.

The iPad Mini by Tim Cook has been a huge mistake because it's outdated hardware at an expensive price.

BUT the iPad4 is the only true tablet on the market that is worth buying.

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Facepalm

Re: More fake numbers by Google....

LOL, you really should go for a full time comedy career.

Unless you actually believe any of what you just wrote...

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WTF?

Re: More fake numbers by Google....

Oh dear, you poor soul, don't you know that most android tablets are enabled to access the google play store the same way as the android phones are, Its dead easy from that to work out for google, go to your play store account and it even tells you what brand and model of tablet you have.

As to usage it would be useful to also know what phone people have and what the usage on that is. total mobile usage per person rather than device is more useful to know.

ipad 4 only one worth buying ? God are you biased and deluded, there are many other choices right down to the blackberry playbook at current price, its all down to what you are going to use it for, and for the vast majority of people who buy an ipad an android would do just as well unless they already have loads of apps and content on itunes.

In fact the only reasons to buy apple over android are the following 3, first the UI is the one you prefer, second you have loads of itunes content already and don't know how to access it from other devices and thirdly you just prefer the feel of the tablet in your hand. Several people I work with have ebayed their ipads and gone android recently and are more than happy.

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Re: More fake numbers by Google....

"All these claims are fake"

You really think so? Really? You either have a real scoop to offer the world (assuming you have some evidence), or a very strange imagination.

"BUT the iPad4 is the only true tablet on the market that is worth buying".

Damn. You mean the Nexus 10 I have and love is rubbish? Thanks for telling me. I didn't realise.

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Terminator

Re: More fake numbers by Google....

Not sure where you are getting *your* numbers from but fwiw in my smallish corner of the planet there are far more Android tablets than iPads. Demographics slant heavily toward the younger, technically literate crowd, and it is that group I see with Android tablets - mostly 7" - than iPads, and at about a 4 to 1 ratio. The only demographic that has gone more for iPads is the middle to upper management side - 40+ years old, still technical but no longer truely innovative.

Terminator because it's the closest to an Android icon we've got.

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Vic
Silver badge

Re: More fake numbers by Google....

> all these Android tablets.. who the heck is using those?

I am. I'm quite sure I'm not alone...

Vic.

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Re: More fake numbers by Google....

I'm really starting to see the same trend as Zaphod. It's really starting to look like Android phones and tablets are becoming preferred by the younger generation, while iProducts are the go-to device for their parents.

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Re: More fake numbers by Google....

"The parents" are people around my age. It's depressing.

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@ Darryl

Yup, those Samsung commercials are spot on from what I see.

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Happy

Re: More fake numbers by Google....

@ Big_Ted

I would add a fourth reason: "Productive" apps that aren't available on Android.

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Meh

@Graham Dawson

I'm not far behind you. Sigh.

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Stop

Re: More fake numbers by Google....

But that's the issue!

By every measure published by every web and internet analytics company, people are not using Android tablets and very few the internet capabilities of their Android based phones. So what's going on there?

How does iOS with, what 20% of the overall market, generate a majority of the web and internet traffic? What are people doing with their Android phones and tablets? They aren't buying Apps and they aren't using the internet.

If they aren't using the features that differentiate the experience then the barrier to switching will be low where the opposite is true for iOS users who overwhelmingly say that when the time comes they will purchase another iOS device.

Not flaming Android but seriously trying to understand the hype of these made up numbers and the reality of usage and why the disconnect.

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Facepalm

Re: More fake numbers by Google....

Does that mean that the ASUS EEE Pad Transformer TF101 that I've been using for the last 18 months is also crap ? Why did nobody tell me ? I'm going to have to bin it straight away and buy an iPad 4 if its the only one worth buying. I can't wait to enjoy the benefits of using the not at all bloated, slow and poorly designed iTunes on my PC with my new fruity piece of genius. It'll be so satisfying to penetrate its Appley case with my fully loaded SD cards of musical pleasure. Oh how could I have been so completely wrong in my choice of tablety goodness.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: More fake numbers by Google....

Your geek environment is not going to be representative of the market. Recent surveys show the desire for iPads and iPhones to be strongest amongst the young.

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Anonymous Coward

Clearly Apple like to play comparison games...

So lets play too...

https://plus.google.com/photos/+ASUS/albums/5815527738999438193/5815527743659870242

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FAIL

Re: Clearly Apple like to play comparison games...

Here's Steve Jobs on why, err, Apple will never release a 7" tablet - apparently you'd need to "file your fingers down" to use one, whatever that means. Perhaps he was right, but just omitted the word "successful":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxoAF0Jvhqc

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bep

Re: Clearly Apple like to play comparison games...

Steve also said styluses were history. Lots of iPad users in my vicinity have bought after-market ones; how long before an iPad comes with a stylus slot built in?

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This is just a reflection of the new entrant to the market (Android) competing effectively on price and growing the overall market significantly. Nothing significant has been taken away from Apple, although I'm sure there will be people who have moved from iPad to Nexus or Kindle.

Wait a couple more years until the market stabilises and then this kind of information will be much more meaningful.

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Bronze badge

Can see a lot of Nexus7's being shifted for Xmas presents - everyone who has seen mine wants one - and the news that Carphone Warehouse just dropped the price of the 32GB model to £180 will tempt even more people. Whilst it is true that I may not like to part with what little money I do have - there is nothing more frustrating than "free" apps that are plastered in advertising.... so I do actually buy various apps - especially if I am really impressed with the quality of the app. IMHO Google could do with making it clear to prospective buyers that all the apps you have previously purchased on your Android phone don't have to be repurchased for the tablet (except in the case of those prats who think that they will make more money by making a tablet specific version of their app - who promptly lose my custom at that point). The one thing I would say though - I hope this trend of getting an app for free and then paying for it with in-app purchases is killed fast - I'd be quite happy to buy Theme Park or Rollercoaster Tycoon for instance for around a tenner - I will NOT however get it free and then pay roughly £50 in in-app purchases that you have to make in order to progress in the game - SHAME ON YOU EA!

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Silver badge

I've just recommended a Nexus 7 4G to an old boy in the pub who had been asking about smartphones, yet he expressed doubt about his eyesight and digital ('of fingers') dexterity- so sticking with his clamshell phone and getting pocket/glovebox-friendly tablet seemed a better approach. It will be a device for his his car, and as a backup to his laptop/router* for the purposes of email, cricket scores etc.

I would have suggested he look at an iPad Mini 3G (as his grown-up children have iPads) but its price was double what Google were asking- very hard to justify.

*when it is 'playing silly buggers' he can still keep in touch with family by coming down the pub.

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Thumb Up

7" tablets an easy upsell

I've certainly managed to "sell" two Nexus 7's to family, in that they were thinking of getting e-readers and photo frames and I've suggested they spend a little more and get something that does way more. £70-£80 upsold to £129 or even £159 is an easier proposition than £260+ which is what you'd be paying for a decent tablet 12 months ago, or a mini iDevice now.

Plus, I think with the tide turning from iOS in the phone space (have you noticed how many S3's are about?) means that Android tablet is a better proposition for those who already have an Android phone as your paid for apps will work across devices.

I'm still not sure that Kindle Fire/HD should be in the Android camp though.

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Re: 7" tablets an easy upsell

"Plus, I think with the tide turning from iOS in the phone space (have you noticed how many S3's are about?) means that Android tablet "

Just to nitpick, note that the tide turned with Android outselling iphone several years ago. And in fact, iphone was never number one - it was Symbian until 2011, then Android.

The S3 is so popular, that it is now the single best selling device (Q3 2012) - that's right, even though Apple only has one phone per generation, their one flagship is outsold by just one of thousands of Android phones.

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Re: 7" tablets an easy upsell

Sorry to bust your bubble but your last comment about the S3 was short lived due to many people waiting for the iPhone 5 release. That so called big win for the S3 was against the iPhone 4s. The iphone 5 was released the last week of Q3 and has been selling like hotcakes ever since. Lets talk again after Q4. The fact that Apple had and will again have the best selling smartphone is amazing considering the dozens of models made by other manufacturers sold everywhere while the iPhone not.

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Anonymous Coward

iPhone 5 - best selling smartphone - not impressed

It's easy to have a best seller when buyers who want to go Apple only have one current model to choose from. The S3's success is even more impressive given Android shoppers also have the choice of the HTC One X and headline phones from the likes of LG, Sony, Motorola and Huawei.

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Finally..

People are beginning to re-learn common sense. I spent £75 on my android tablet, including keyboard case. It'll do mouse keyboard and memory stick over otg and hdmi out, 6 hour battery.

Apple is and always will be overpriced tat, which only Jobs managed to sell with a straight face. Not to mention sitting on the tube (like the 9 year old last night) holding Apples finest is an easy way to getting stabbed in the process of the robbery of same.

Apple fanbois think on this - you could buy, fuel, service and in many cases insure a fully functional car for what you are paying for your shiny w**kcandy. Not to mention the random pornbarfing problem with iOS that you cannot fix. I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that apple is making sure that lil 7 year old Amelia is getting a faceful of how to get a faceful (in a manner of speaking) and you have NO WAY of fixing the problem (which would take 30 seconds on 'droid). Dont you just love being a member of the mindless majority?

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Anonymous Coward

Why do you want to plug a keyboard and mouse into a tablet?

If you wanted a laptop then you should have bought one.

It would have to be a very old, very nasty car, the service by a very dodgy back street mechanic, you'd need to be middle aged with maximum no-claims discount wanting 3rd party only cover and you'd have to ignore the cost of the fuel for it before you could get remotely close to the cost of an iPad. They do start at £270 remember?

Content filtering? That's what your router is for. That of you can easily dissable Safari and install a safe browser from the App Store. Either way its not an issue.

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Facepalm

Re: Finally..

You could also buy, fuel, service and in many cases insure a fully functional car for what you are paying for a) a decent audio system b) an engagement ring for your fiancé c) that two week holiday you've worked your arse off for and d) just about anything else in life that brings you pleasure that you'll probably be missing out on because you're such a complete money orientated tight-arse.

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Megaphone

Jemma: keep taking the tablets! (sorry...)

I know your game - you're aiming for FotW! A bit more random capitalisation and typing errors and you'll be there. And for the record I'm just about to order my Android seven-incher and wouldn't touch an iPhad with a barge pole (even if I could afford one).

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Re: Finally..

Because obviously every other tablet isn't shiny wankcandy, is it? They're all in matt grey and have awful looking displays.

Which is strange, because the last time I looked in the local PC World, there was a whole bank of beautiful shining things that made me feel like I was living in the future. A future full of shiny wankcandy.

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Re: Why do you want to plug a keyboard and mouse into a tablet?

Apart from one tiny problem, filtering content doesn't work, its been tried, and people still get a whole new meaning of facebook from .mobi sites. Unpleasant enough when youre an adult, just imagine what happens when it happens at school to your kid, cue social services missing the point and the police doing you for kiddy fiddling/abuse.

And dont tell me I dont know what I'm on about because I spent 6 months dealing with the hounding of a friend and her trans daughter. To the point it almost pushed the mother to suicide.

As to Apple, I won't pay them the best part of 300 quid, or 500, for something I can get for a third of that - same as I won't pay BMW for something I can get for half the price elsewhere. Its called being sensible. Maybe if the various govts had stayed within their budgets too we'd be better off.

As to the keyboard option, I write amongst other things, and 25,000 words on a touchscreen keyboard would push me to the point of madness. Not least having a keyboard helps flexibility. Oh and £75 for effectively a new netbook, you were saying?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why do you want to plug a keyboard and mouse into a tablet?

If filtering or a safe browser don't work then how the heck do you think that Android does it?

You're welcome to buy any brand you want (it's your cash), but never assume that someone who choses a different, more expensive brand is a fool. They simply have a different set of priorities than you. Personally I feel that anyone who buys the cheapest possible option is throwing away their money, but I don't go around calling them names for doing so.

A used laptop can be had for less than £75 and will do a better job as a writing tool than any pad. Who's foolish with their money?

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