Apple’s dominance of worldwide tablet market will be seriously challenged in 2013 as the growing number of Android tablets is expected to exceed iPad shipments. The prediction was made by research company IDC.
Manufacturers including Google and Amazon.com have been continuously churning up smaller and more affordable Android tablets, chipping away APple’s dominance of the market since the first iPad was launched in 2010.
While it is expected that more iPhone and iPad shipments will continue to flow to the market at an enviable rate, other phone and tablet manufacturers like Samsung Electronics have significantly hurt sales of Apple mobile devices by introducing more advanced technology, greater variety, and active marketing.
Samsung has recently launched its flagship smartphone in a New York event. Dubbed as Galaxy S4, this fourth generation smartphone will further pose a serious threat to the dominance of Apple’s main product, the iPhone. Samsung’s Galaxy S3 had already overtaken sales of Apple devices briefly last year.
The perceived decline of Apple’s competitive edge has resulted to a dive of the company’s stocks after it hit a company high in September 2012.
Investment bank Jefferies analyst Peter Misek compared Apple to Blackberry, saying that the American company is now on defensive against the onslaught of Samsung’s mobile devices.
Writing a note to clients, Misek said: “Historically when handset makers fall out of favor, they fall faster and further than expected.”
Apple’s competitive position is not ideal, following the most recent prediction of IDC that the company may also be losing some of its lead in the tablet market, though it is still the number one maker for the said market.
IDC report says that shipments of iPad are expected to hit 46 percent of the entire tablet market this year, showing a decrease from last year’s 51 percent. On the other hand, Android tablet shipments are expected to reach 49 percent in 2013, up from last year’s 42 percent.
Tablets running heavily modified Android versions like the Amazon Kindles and Google Nexus 7s have made successful forays with customers in 2012. As a response, Apple introduced its iPad Mini in November with success.
“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 reported.
Hewlett-Packard’s first Android-powered Slate 7 tablet was introduced last month. This tablet is HP’s first foray into the tablet market, following the company’s intent to join the lucrative but very crowded mobile market.
Despite threats from rivals, Apple’s fortune is expected to grow $26 billion after September this year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Suppliers that depend for more than 50 percent of their business reported slumping of sales by about 31 percent in February this year, said brokerage firm Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White. He did not name the companies affected by the said decline of Apple demands.