ANZ media tablet market growth slows in Q3: IDC

Apple iPad 2 retains number one position but Android sales take hit in Australia, finds analyst firm

The Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) media tablet market recorded growth of just 3.1 per cent in Q3 with 434,000 units shipped, according to analyst firm IDC.

In IDC's latest ANZ Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker (2011 Q3), Australia contributed 86.2 per cent of total shipments but rose only 1.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

Android media tablets were most affected in Australia, dropping 37 per cent from Q2 whereas in New Zealand, the devices grew by more than 60 per cent.

IDC ANZ market analyst, Yee-Kuan Lau, said in a statement that this was caused by hype around a variety of Android media tablet launches in Q2 becoming subdued in Q3.

Android-based media tablets unit share dropped by eight points in Q3 taking up 16.5 per cent of the total market size while Apple iPad 2’s market share rose to 77.7 per cent.

The rest of the shipments went to RIM's PlayBook and one-off shipments of HP’s TouchPad.

“The exit of low-cost Android tablets such as Optus MyTab and Telstra T-Touch and the court case over Samsung's Galaxy 10.1 slowed down Android’s momentum in Australia as well,” she said.

However, New Zealand’s media tablet market showed a larger market expansion, growing 13.6 per cent more than the previous quarter.

“Android momentum is strong in New Zealand and the growth is due amongst other things, to the collective efforts of major players such as Motorola, Acer, Asus and Samsung, which had the advantage to sell Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the country,” Lau said.

However, she expects the media tablet market will recover in Australia when Android 4.0 tablets and long term evolution (LTE) capable devices hit the market, which will result in more media tablet sales through telco operators.

According to the report, Android-based media tablets shipments in ANZ would stay below the 100,000 mark with a 20 per cent unit share in Q4 while Apple iOS is expected to cling on to its number one ranking. Approximately 1.5 million units of media tablets would be shipped into Australia and New Zealand by the end of 2011.

“Although Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban was lifted in mid-December, which came in a timely manner with Christmas season around the corner, IDC does not expect last minute Christmas sales of the device to significantly affect the overall Q4 sales in Australia,” she said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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