news The Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) media tablet market experienced a visibly dampened growth in the third quarter of this year, with a rise of only 3.1 percent quarter on quarter (QoQ) with 434,000 units shipped, and much of the slowdown relating to the Android side of the sector.
As per International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker (2011 Q3), Australia contributed 86.2% of total shipments in ANZ—a rise of just 1.6% QoQ. Interestingly, the QoQ growth of Android media tablets in Q3 went in opposite directions across ANZ, dropping by 37% in Australia and growing by a little over 60% in New Zealand.
Yee-Kuan Lau, Market Analyst for IDC Australia said that the early hype in Australia around the range of Android media tablets had quietened down between Q2 and Q3, while Apple’s iPad 2 was continuing its upward momentum. “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,” Lau said.
The Australian tablet market has been seeing dramatic price cuts and extreme promotions throughout the year following the launch, earlier in 2011, of Android-based tablets by Motorola, Samsung, Acer, Toshiba and other rivals. The most recent price slash has been for the Motorola Xoom, selling for half-price in the holiday season.
Meanwhile, with a positive growth of 13.6% over Q2, New Zealand’s Q3 media tablet market showed a larger market expansion. “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,” said Lau.
Android-based media tablets unit share dropped by 8 points across Australia from the previous quarter, occupying 16.5% of the total market size, while Apple’s iPad 2 market share increased to 77.7% during the same period. The remaining shipments included RIM’s PlayBook and a one-off shipment of HP’s TouchPad. Lau added, “Apple continues to grow in ANZ with additional retail stores followed by a channel expansion: selling through Australian telco operators for the first time and appointing Ingram Micro as a second distributor in New Zealand.”
Lau pointed out the increased choice available for consumers of devices such as ultrabooks, even though the influence of this form factor on media tablets is negligible at this time. “IDC expects the media tablet momentum will pick up a notch when Android 4.0 tablets are launched and also in the long-run when LTE-capable devices hit the market, which will result in more media tablet sales through telco operators,” said Lau.
Projections for the Christmas period expect Android-based media tablet shipments in ANZ to remain below the 100,000 mark with a Q4 unit share at nearly 20%. Apple iOS is expected to maintain its leading market position. IDC predicts roughly 1.5 million units of media tablets will be shipped into the ANZ channel by the end of 2011. In spite of the lifting of the sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in December coinciding with the holiday season, IDC expects the Christmas sales to have a minimal effect on Q4 sales in Australia.
Image credit: Motorola