Friday 23 February 2018

Competitors must cut prices to beat iPad, say analysts

Apple's iPad 2. Photo: Getty Images
Apple's iPad 2. Photo: Getty Images

Shane Richmond

Apple’s dominance of the tablet market in Europe will continue for some time, according to a new report.

Apple’s iPad is likely to maintain its lead in Europe because none of its competitors has everything needed to mount a challenge, says Sarah Rotman Epps, a senior analyst with Forrester.

“Right now there just isn’t a convincing alternative to the iPad,” Mrs Epps said.

In a new report, published today, Mrs Epps said that tackling the iPad's dominance would require a product that can compete on price, content and with the supply channel. She said that at the moment no competitor could offer all three.

“In the US we see Amazon as the most likely disruptor,” Mrs Epps said. “We think they will come in with a price that is far lower than any that we’ve seen.”

Though Amazon is expected to launch a tablet computer in the US this Autumn, Mrs Epps said she did not think the company would launch it in Europe this year.

“In Europe, we see the most likely price disruptors coming from Asia,” Mrs Epps said. However, she added that companies such as Huawei or ZTE had no content or retail channel strategy to support a lower-priced tablet.

Meanwhile, Sony, which will release two tablet computers this autumn, has the content and distribution channel needed, said Mrs Epps, but is “not going to compete on price”.

Despite the lack of competition, Forrester’s report says that there is still plenty of demand for tablets in Europe. The report estimates that Europe will account for 30 per cent of worldwide consumer tablet sales this year.

Mrs Epps said that price and battery life were the main things consumers look for in a tablet. Buyers say they intend to use their tablet for communication, web browsing and media consumption.

Mrs Epps said that the newly-released Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was unlikely to challenge the iPad. “Android is still not a mature operating system for tablets,” she said. “If a tablet is not as good as the iPad than it has to be significantly cheaper.”

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