In a new report published today, Rhoda Alexander, director, tablet research for IHS covered Apple and their tablet competitors by stating that "The growth in cheaply made, inexpensive Android tablets is a key piece of the growing imbalance between shipments and usage measurements in the tablet world." Usage measurements is a metric that we've been emphasizing as an important statistic to note for months now as has Apple's CEO Tim Cook who pointed that out specifically in their recent Special Event. Tim Cook stated during the iPad event that "regardless of what you might hear or read about how many are bought or sold or activated, iPad is used more than any of the rest. And not just a little more, a lot more. The iPad is used more than four times more than all of those other tablets put together." So it's refreshing to read about an analyst who finally promotes the idea that Android's mass shipments of junk tablets distort meaningful tablet statistics and facts.
Alexander further noted in her report that "The cheaper tablets tend to have much higher return and failure rates. This results in much shorter overall product lifetimes in the Android market than in the iOS space, and contributes to iOS still leading the tablet market in installed base, despite Android's lead in unit shipments over the past year. The size of the installed base is critical because it measures actual devices in use, a key metric for content and application developers." Finally an analyst gets it!
Alexander later noted that "In an increasingly bifurcated tablet market, Apple has yet to experience any serious competition for the premier customer, particularly those users wanting to do more with a tablet than watch videos, surf the Web, and do email," Alexander noted. "Given Apple's recent system and software announcements, it is clearly moving beyond the basic consumer tablet market and targeting the remaining personal computer users."
With new Windows-based tablets entering the market at prices less than the base unit of the newly configured iPad mini with Retina display, Apple is on track to lead the tablet market on revenue for years to come, IHS believes.
IHS noted earlier in their report that Apple's weaker shipment performance in the third quarter was primarily due to a shift in the company's product release cycle. The company changed from a two-pronged launch approach in 2012—with tablet launches in the spring and the fall—to a single fall release in 2013. The lack of a second-quarter product release and anticipation of a fourth-quarter product update resulted in tepid year over year sales in the third quarter.
This is likely something that Cook and his team will be able to easily rectify in 2014 if the iPad mini with Retina backlog problem is corrected in time.
Apple's iPad Takes 82% of US-Canada Tablet Web Traffic in March (April 18, 2013)
In April, Apple's iPad Remained King of Web Traffic & More (May 29, 2013)
In May, Apple's iPad extended its Web Traffic Leadership (June 25, 2013)