Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Could an Android tablet from Amazon eat into Apple's iPad market share?

Silicon Valley-based consumer electronics shopping site Retrevo.com has published the results of a survey they conducted of more than 1000 U.S. consumers, "distributed across gender, age, income and location", to study factors that may influence 1st-time purchasers of tablet computers. Retrevo did not provide further details of the survey population, other than to say that:
"The data for this report came from a study of online individuals conducted exclusively for Retrevo in June of 2011, by an independent panel."
PhotobucketThe pie chart breaks down stated preferences only of participants who do not currently own a tablet, but who expressed an intention to buy one this year. One could conclude that the survey sample was pretty tech savvy, as nearly half as many people as those who expressed an interest in an Android tablet  showed an interest in "Other". According to another recent report from Strategy Analytics, in Q2 of this year "other" tablet shipments accounted for only 8.6% of worldwide units shipped.  Of 15.1M units shipped, according to Strategy Analytics, Apple's share fell to 61.3% from 91.3% one year ago. Android's market share increased from 2.9% to 30.1% over the same period.

Retrevo's results indicate that price is far and away the most important consideration influencing tablet purchases, although the question was asked under the premise of "with similar features". In comparing the iPad vs. Android, Retrevo asked:
Would you consider buying an Android tablet with similar features over a base model $499 iPad?
- 79% of people would if it cost less than $250
- 48% of people would if it cost less than $300
- 31% of people would if it cost less than $400
In an apparent multiple-choice question, in which participants could choose more than one brand, the Retrevo Pulse survey asked:
Which of these manufacturers would you seriously consider buying a tablet from?
- 55% Amazon
- 38% Dell
- 38% Samsung
- 31% Motorola
- 31% HP
- 24% RIM
- 21% Barnes & Noble

By posing the choices this way, Retrevo apparently assumed that consumers would think of Amazon as a manufacturer from their Kindle eReader, and similarly match Barnes & Noble with their Nook.  But given the result on price as the #1 decision point, consumers could just have been choosing the world's largest online retailer as the place they would most likely look for the best deal. Retrevo's implication that consumers are looking to buy a less expensive Android-based tablet MANUFACTURED by Amazon is questionable.

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