Apple's iPad to fall behind Android as tablet war growsBy Noel Randewich
By Noel Randewich, ReutersSAN FRANCISCO--Shipments of tablets running Google Inc.'s Android will overtake the iPad this year for the first time, research house IDC predicted on Tuesday, as Apple Inc. cedes more mobile market share to hard-charging rivals around the globe.
March 14, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
A growing variety of smaller and cheaper Android tablets from Google to Amazon.com Inc. will catch on this year with more consumers and chip away at Apple's dominance since the first iPad launched in 2010, International Data Corp. said.
IPad and iPhone shipments are expected to keep growing at enviable rates, but arch-rival Samsung Electronics and others have hurt Apple with a combination of savvy marketing, greater variety and rapid technology adoption.
On Thursday, Samsung takes the wraps off the fourth generation of its flagship Galaxy, the smartphone that helped the South Korean giant knock the iPhone off its top ranking for part of last year.
A growing perception that the company co-founded by Steve Jobs may be losing its competitive edge has weighed on its shares, which have lost more than a third of their value since hitting a high in September.
In the latest criticism from Wall Street, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek on Tuesday compared Apple to Blackberry saying the iPhone is now on the defensive against Samsung's devices.
“Historically when handset makers fall out of favor (e.g., the Razr, Blackberry, HTC) they fall faster/further than expected,” Misek said.
Now, IDC says Apple may begin losing some its lead on tablets as well, though it remains the top seller among manufacturers.
iPad shipments are expected to account for 46 percent of the tablet market in 2013, down from 51 percent last year, IDC said. Devices running Android are expected to grow their market share to 49 percent this year from 42 percent last year.
Google's Nexus 7 tablet and Amazon.com Inc's Kindle, which uses its own customization of Android, made major inroads with consumers last year. In November, Apple launched its own foray into smaller-sized tablets with the iPad mini.
“One in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size. And in terms of shipments, we expect smaller tablets to continue growing in 2013 and beyond,” IDC said in a press release.
Last month, Hewlett-Packard Co. announced the launch of the Slate 7 tablet powered by Android, a centerpiece of that company's effort to expand from the shrinking personal market into mobile.