Does fragmentation aid Apples continuing dominance in the tablet market?
You might have thought that the arrival of new tablets by Amazon and a whole host of others before them, would make Apple scared?
Especially when they are competing so heavily on price. But Apple appear to be revelling in a marketplace that is now looking even more confusing to the average Joe.
Should they be worried?
I think to answer this I may have to put myself in the mind of a few different types of potential tablet buyers.
Apple lovers – Fanboys stay fanboys generally:
The iPad still has a superior marketplace and overall look/feel and usability factor which should ensure that most current Apple aficionados stick with the iPad for the foreseeable future.
Android lovers – The tricky, awkward but forgotten buyer:
Android users are often seen as the anti-apple brigade, and this type of device owner is often seen cutting off his face rather than accepting that Apple may have a superior product. They will usually site technical reasons to not go for an Apple product even though the equivalent Apple device may function better for most of their everyday needs.
Tech lovers – A mixed bag here:
Gadget lovers fall into a few camps: The die hard, the try hard and the try anything.
Apple rely heavily on the die hard and the try anything moulds.
The try hard’s are not really Apples kind of consumer, and here is why:
Apple’s love of control. Where the try hard’s love making things do what they are not perhaps designed to do…Apple want you to be happy straight away and stay that way until a new version arrives, try hard’s are not a good mix for apple, who are much better off using a “more” open O/S and device such as the Android based varieties, so they can tinker more freely.
Budget concious – The goldmine of the skint?
Now this large section of the Global populace is potentially where many riches lie. The problem is that unlike Apple who make shed loads of cash shifting very expensive units, and get away with a high price tag.
The likes of Amazon and others who have released cut priced versions of tablets mean that there is now very little money in the “cheap” tablet market for manufacturers without their own marketplace and entertainment eco-system like Amazon’s kindle fire offers.
Tech unaware – The late adopters:
Now I fear that Apple are going to lose a fair amount to this market, as these buyers rarely see what benefits are to be had in looking at areas such as amount of applications, functionality, design, and often only go on the basics such as cost, and overall look, expect to see these tablets in your local Walmart and Book store, and your Mum to come home one day from said stores proclaiming that she has picked up an iPad for less than $100….awww.
I am not convinced that Apple’s stable O/S, great marketplace and one size fits all approach is best, though it certainly works well currently, and I predict will see them comfortably stay main players in this market for a while.
But a new breed of buyers is entering the tablet market, yes your mum and dad…now how trend concious are the silver surfers of 2011/2012, or perhaps the question should be how tech concious are they?
My own opinion is that Apple will be doing very well indeed in the near to distant future in this market that they created, and essentially still dominate.
Others beware!Anthony Munns