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back to article Microsoft carves out 'niche' in tablets, says numbers chap

Apple had to watch Android match then exceed its share of the smartphone market and now it’s having to watch Google’s OS do the same thing in the tablet space. First quarter figures from Strategy Analytics show Android running in 52 per cent of the fondleslabs that shipped during the period. Apple’s iOS was in 41 per cent of …

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Silver badge

Growing market...

but for how long? The market might be quite a bit smaller than that for smart phones. And as compared to phones, the owners might expect a longer time-to-replacement, damping the future demand. I would expect the tablet category saturating quite fast, unless there are unexpected new markets opening up or they become cheap commodity devices (probably not from Apple or Microsoft).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Growing market...

Unlike traditional notebooks and the maturing smartphone market, the technology is improving pretty fast so theres still an incentive to go for an annual upgrade for those with deep pockets. The market as a whole is far from saturated.

So to answer your question, likely to keep growing for at least 4 years. Figures muddied of course by the trend for notebooks towards detachable/convertible and the is it a tablet or not question.

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Re: Growing market...

I read

"carves out 'niche' in tablets"

as

"We can't sell them no matter how hard we try, how do we put a positive spin on it"

On a plus note, we have loads of Ipads and Androids in my work, we are introducing a few surface devices and give them their due, they have been well received as useful devices and they are alot easier to manage :)

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Re: Growing market...

I read it as "carved out zilch in tablets"

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Re: Growing market...

"might expect a longer time-to-replacement"

Kidding right? This is the best thing to happen to computer manufacturers since the fashion for laptops and netbooks started putting flimsy, fragile machines in the hands of 10 year olds.

Welded-in battery too. The future is fucking awesome if all you want to do is sell unfixable shit that makes bone china look rugged.

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Niche Player

"Strategy Analytics considers it a “niche” player for the moment."

For the moment? What a crock of shit.

Any student of Corporate Strategy knows that the 'Niche' strategy is a strategy that's deliberately pursued. It is not an excuse for the failure of another strategy. While Apple successfully pursued a 'Niche' strategy for years (and continues to do so), Microsoft has never pursued a 'Niche' strategy. To say otherwise is to either (a) be an apologist for MSFT, or (b) reveal yourself as a complete and utter fuckwit.

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Mushroom

Re: Growing market...

Apparently they carved out 7.5% of the market! Pretty good going for a new product with an immature app market...

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

WTF?

Re: “niche” player - corporate speak for MARKET EPIC FAIL

As opposed to the epic success of Google's $1,500 browser? Eadon, I'd swear you're a Google employee. Just surprised they let janitors post online.

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Anonymous Coward

Who is buying these surface tablets?

The only one I have seen was a demo unit given to us by Microsoft that fell apart after a days use...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who is buying these surface tablets?

Fell apart? Er, the keyboard is MEANT to be detached!

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tablet sizes

It would be interesting to see a breakdown into pocket sized 7/8" devices Nexus 7, iPad mini etc. and larger 10" tablets like Surface and iPad.

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Anonymous Coward

Surely the real news is that Android is now king of the tablet sales?

So why the Microsoft battles for 3rd place (when it's really a distant 3rd place)?

Of have I misread it?

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Linux

Hybrids excluded? So MS's share is even higher?

So these numbers exclude the Lenovo Yoga and the Samsung ATIV SmartPC and that HP they are advertising on TV? So maybe another 1 million could be added to that 3 million total? Also I saw recently that 20% of laptops sold in Q2 2013 had touch screens - Even with a falling market thats got to be about 5-6 million laptops.

I expect by Christmas 2013 both Apple and Android numbers are going to look "niche".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hybrids excluded? So MS's share is even higher?

Strangely, at another online rag they wrote that these numbers INCLUDED the hybrids, so the real number might be a lot lower. What is it?

Anyway, I don't expect a atom tablet, with fans, with such an high price, and with so much of storage taken by the OS to be a threat to Android or iOS. Even more if it has TIFKAM on it.

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Re: Hybrids excluded? So MS's share is even higher?

ATOM tablets dont have fans, prices are about the same as for other 10 inch tablets and are set to come down, and did you expect Metro tablets (with all those issues you mentioned) to sell at 20% of iPad sales already?

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Re: Hybrids excluded? So MS's share is even higher?

BTW, from the press release : "The definition of tablet does not include e-book readers or convertible PCs."

www.prnewswire. com/news-releases-test/strategy-analytics-apple-maintains-48-percent-share-of-global-branded-tablet-shipments-in-q1-2013-204381411.html

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Anonymous Coward

Whaaaa?

"Apple can take heart from one fact: if you cut out the no-brand tablets from the Android tally, it’s back on top - just."

Does this work elsewhere?

"Boeing can take heart from one fact: if you cut out Embraer from the airliner tally, it’s back on top - just."

"Ford can take heart from one fact: if you cut out Toyota from the car tally, it’s back on top - just."

How do you justify taking out the "no name" Android tablet sales from the total tablet sales? "Why not include the white-label tablets? Because only seven million of them shipped during Q1, compared to 40.6 million branded products." So? Either the while label sales aren't a significant part of the total, in which case removing them shouldn't matter, or they DO matter, and you shouldn't remove them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whaaaa?

Yeah about that no brand thingy, roll back to the 1990s and if you said cut out all the licensed Windows machines and only listed IBM made machines then the PC was a poor seller.

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Re: Whaaaa?

Most of those "no-name" tablets are bought solely on price, and the people who buy them either say "what a piece of crap, I should have bought a [insert brand that all their mates bought]" or they say "it's not bad, but I'll probably get a [insert brand that all their mates bought] soon". They don't seem to be establishing any sort of long term brand viability, yet they aren't doing much damage to the notion of tablets as useful gadgets, so many of those customers will end up with a better known brand, sooner rather than later.

That makes it quite a bit different from the airliner or car market. (Apart altogether from the fact that Embraer and Toyota aren't exactly unknown brands in their markets).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whaaaa? @Al Jones

Never hear of white box PC's ?

Or whitebox TV's that are re-badged.

A flat 32inch TV used to cost thousands of pound, now you can get one that is good enough for £200, welcome to the world of good enough. MS would like you to pay a fortune for tablets a la Apple so it can justify high software margins but the world has changed and people are used to seeing their gadget do more and all the while getting cheaper.

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Holmes

TBH... probably 70% of those Android tablets are 50 euro plastic devices made in Chinese sweatshops bought by people who think they need a tablet.

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FAIL

Erm, well, if you work through the math in the article, there were 7 million of the cheapy Chinese tables and 40.6 million branded ones. That's 47.6 million in total, and 52% of those were Android; in other words, 24.8 million Android tables shipped total. 7 out of 24.8 is 28.2%, not 70%.

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Anonymous Coward

No......

First quarter figures from Strategy Analytics show Android running in 52 per cent of the fondleslabs that shipped during the period. Apple’s iOS was in 41 per cent of them.

Thats 52% of the total number ... So that's :

40.6 million Branded Android

7 million Unbranded Android

3 million Win 8

and the rest (42 Million?) are apple

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Joke

Re: No......

Don't forget the 6 or 7 of us that bought Playbooks

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Pint

50 Euros is about right for a kid's tablet

I bought three of them. The kids are happy and they see more use than an XBox would. They can watch Netflix and Hulu, play games - even Minecraft, command their Roku. The upside is I don't have to share my $700 Android tab any more. Not everybody needs a cutting-edge tab.

Heck, HP's Android slate is only £129 with Beats audio, and printing! You can be sure they'll move a grip of those.

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Re: No......

It didn't say branded Android, it said branded.

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How to fudge numbers

"Why not include the white-label tablets? Because only seven million of them shipped during Q1, compared to 40.6 million branded products."

Or, in other words, if you count all the tablets shipped, Android has 52% and Apple has 41%. But, if you don't count about a third of the Android tables shipped but still count all of Apple's, then Apple sold more. Just.

It's a good trick, and one you can apply almost anywhere. The UK has a bigger land mass than the United States, so long as you don't count the "Continental" parts of the USA. And the UK has more people than China, so long as you don't count the Chinese who live "outside Beijing."

And, FYI, for native English speakers, calling someone a "niche player" is not quite the same thing as saying they are carving out a niche - one is a nice way of saying you're irrelevant, the other means a modest success.

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Simple math.

Who is using what around you? Who is planning to buy what around you?

Again.... Everyone talks of an Apple or some sort of tablet running Android.

No mention EVER of MS.

Not a stab at MS, just basic facts.

If I ask people what their next automobile will be same results, different companies.

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Bronze badge

According to the article the nobrand oem Android tablets outsold Window 8/RT ones but the numbers weren't included?

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Anonymous Coward

??

"Why not include the white-label tablets? Because only seven million of them shipped during Q1, compared to 40.6 million branded products."

So we can exclude 7 million white-label android tablets - which is more than 200% of the total Windows 8 tablet sales.... so why can't we not include those and say no Win 8 tablets were sold at all?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ??

Go ahead, exclude all the Windows 8 tablets that sold for $100 or less and see what difference it makes.

The customers for a $100 no-brand Android device aren't in the market for an iPad, or a Win8 tablet, or an Asus Transformer. The customers buying iPads and Windows 8 tablets aren't buying them in preference to $100 no-brand Android tablets.

If the no-brand tablet makers could churn out Win8 tablets for the same price that they can churn out Android tablets, I'm pretty sure that they could sell 7 million of them too.

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Re: ??

"The customers for a $100 no-brand Android device aren't in the market for an iPad, or a Win8 tablet, or an Asus Transformer."

Right, they're in the market for a cheap portable that little Timmy and Suzy can use for school and play.

And that's what should be worrying the Hell out of MS and Apple, an entire generation growing up on Android. Last week I installed F-droid on my "no name" netbook.

Who told me about it? A twelve year old running it on his! He also had hacked it to run Google Play, gave me the warm fuzzies for the future.

"No Name" Androids are the new generation's Acorns and Commodores.

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Re: ??

"Last week I installed F-droid on my "no name" netbook."

Replicant, surely? F-droid is a repository.

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Anonymous Coward

Some good news for MS

If they can sell 2.5 times more tablets they will catch up to the no name brand Androids.

Unfortunately I suspect that is going to be hard sell for MS - I think many of those initial sales were

1) People who have to buy anything that say "Windows"

2) MS Employees who use a tablet at work and want keep their job / brown nose the boss

3) MS give always

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No fire sale

Once the retailers can't move this product, there will be no fire sale. They are engineered to prevent being made useful.

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White Label vs Win8?

You don't want to bother counting the 7 million white label tablets as not significant, so 3 million Windows 8 matter because?

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Would love to know who has bought these Surface tablets they have sold, still don't know anyone that owns one and have yet to see one in the wild actually being used..... are we sure they aren't collecting dust in a warehouse somewhere.

Saw one in the local John Lewis store, stuck on a table with a load of net-books that it blended into nicely. The Apple desk with lots of iPads on it was very busy with each one being played with, virtually the same for the Samsung table next to it ....... didn't see one person look at the MS Surface, or any of the net-books alongside it for that matter.

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Bronze badge

New name for "Surface" thingys

Why not call them "Dance Cards" as that is what people want to do with them once they get them (or that is what the commercials on TV imply!).

Now they might improve market share if they show the dance steps on the screen, but that is a subject for another day.

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Linux

I have had enough!

I am sick and tired of paying the MS tax. They push sh!t out the door and want all the android distributors to pay tax HIGHER than the price of putting Windows Phone8 on your tablet. It is time for the open and free market to be the platform for the next computing platform! Linux or Mac OS X :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I have had enough!

But then we would be spending far more time applying patches and fixing stuff. At least Windows 8 works...

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Pint

Cheap

People buy a cheap Android tablet because they heard Tablets are good. They get them, wonder what all the fuss is about and don't use them.

People buy an iPad and realise what the fuss is about and use them.

Just look at the web stats for tablet use to see the truth in that.

Tablets are supost to be simple to use consumer devices that you just pick up and use. Although the top end Android devices are very good, they take more work, which most consumers don't want. People buy cheap and wonder why they don't get the experience they heard about.

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Bronze badge

Why was windows RT included with windows 8 x86?

It's not like they run the same software.

When a company has incompatible platforms why should they be grouped together in system statistics?

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Are you serious??

You remove 7% of Android tablets because?? They are no brand tablets?

JUST so you can still say that what? Apple would be on top if it weren't for those damned pesky cheap tablets?

And then talk about a misleading title...Microsoft carves out "niche" taplet, competes with Apple for number 2.

At 7% vs 42%???

Microsoft isn't "competing"... it's desperately trying to hold on and losing money hand over fist... The title should actually read "Despite billions in advertizing, Microsoft barely outselling no-name knock-off Android tablets, not even close to Android or Apple".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Are you serious??

Actually Microsoft just announced record profits and increased Windows revenue....

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