The International Data Corporation (IDC) is a company which collects and analyzes statistics in many different industries. Recently they have published their data on how the tablet market has changed in 2014. The data shows iOS tablets (iPads) losing market share, Android tablets gaining more of a lead, and Windows tablets taking steps to becoming more popular.
Since 2014 is not over, these numbers are estimates based on data gathered by IDC. The data trends show that consumers are holding onto tablet devices longer than their smartphones and because of this, and other reasons, the tablet market as a whole is cooling. In 2013, there was a 52.3% increase in tablet sales, then in 2014 that dropped to 7.2% which is a massive drop over a single year.
The numbers show that consumers are buying around 235 million tablets in 2014, but the vast majority of those are Android tablets. The reasoning behind consumers decision to purchase Android based tablets over iOS or Windows is probably a range of factors. The biggest factor probably is cost since Android offers very affordable tablets, compared to iOS and Windows tablets. However Microsoft and Apple have improved their low cost tablet offerings.
Microsoft is trying to lower device prices by offering Windows with Bing for free to OEMs who will sell devices for less than $200. Apple on the other hand is keeping their older versions of the iPad and iPad Mini at lower price points, compared to the new versions. These two strategies are very different from Google’s approach to let OEMs run wild with Android and do whatever they want in terms of making up the low price with bloatware and custom skins.
IDC mentions how 2-1 devices are not selling at high volumes when compared to other tablets at only 8.7 million units sold. While it does not bode well for 2-1 device manufacturers from a quantity stand point, those devices tend to be more fully featured and cost much more than cheap tablets running Windows or Android. It would be interesting to see how the different categories compare when price is introduced into the equation. Apple is known for making good margins on their devices and most Window tablets are priced as laptops, making them an odd choice for consumers over laptops. Ultimately there is good competition between the big three companies and the consumer has a wide range of choices at a wide range of prices.Further reading: Android, IDC, iOS, Microsoft, Tablet, Windows