Tablet Market

As of this writing in March 2014, Gartner is reporting that tablet sales worldwide have grown 68 percent in 2013. The interesting thing here is that Android tablets grew 127 percent while Apple grew 15 percent. This large growth spurt for Android propelled them into the top slot for tablet sales worldwide with a 62 percent market share. Apple has declined from a 53 percent leadership position to a 36 percent share today, placing them squarely in the number two slot.
Apple still controls the “high ground” in the tablet market with premium pricing and premium features. The trick for Android, it seems, has been to produce good enough user experience at a lower price point. This opened the door to many new customers who were waiting on lower pricing and a better feature set.
I am amazed at how quickly this “tablet revolution” has taken on the pattern of the “pc revolution” that came before it. Apple is playing its part, with IBM being played by Google. I wonder what the boys at apple are doing about it? Is it their fate to always create the new market, only to lose it to low cost competitors?
Interestingly, the story is not fully played out yet in the PC market. In the last 8 years, Apple has seen US market share for PCs grow from around 4% to around 14%. The largest PC manufacturers have seen flat or dropping sales growth while Apple sees significant increase. So maybe the PC story has yet another chapter to unfold. With the new US based Mac Pro factory being completely unable to keep up with orders, slipping shipment dates for the third month in a row, could this be a sign that Apple does know how to “take it back” from the commodity companies? And will the same thing happen at the (much faster rate) in the tablet markets? Or will Apple be forced to be the market “can opener” and have to create yet another market only to lose it again in the end?