Android tablet growth slows in Australia

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


  1. Not surprising really, same as iPhone Android has a long way to go before it has the kind of mind-share that Apple has. That is if it is even possible for Android to *get* the mind share into the same range.

    I suspect the Tablet computing range to either
    A) remain in Apple’s court for a long time to come (3+ years) or
    B) die a horrible death

    Either of those two before I can realisticly see:
    C) Android starts selling at parity with Apple.

    Gotta say though; I’ll be one of those <100,000 per Quarter after (if) Asus releases the Transformer Prime 3G! (to replace my Transformer) Already use it more than my iPad (1) 3G. And am really missing 3G on it.

  2. Maybe sales are down as apple blocked a major tablet for months????

    Are all the imports counted in this??? It’s way cheaper to import than to buy locally

    • I really don’t think that the lawsuit contributed much to the figures Level380.

      Unless you know thousands upon thousands of people who were desperate to get their hands on it?

      • So a lawsuit that blocked the sale of the most anticipated android tablet for 2011 for many many months, didn’t contributed to reduced sales? What a load of FUD… The only real other tablet on the market was the xoom and thats nothing to write home about. Blocked sales will have adjusted the sales figures of units sold, but remember these are only official australian units. Companies like Kogan and mobicity started selling import units, so there must have been a market there.

        Also with places like and selling units and shipping direct to Australia for cheaper than you can buy locally, a lot of smart people are importing units. android tablet users are different to the iSheep, they look around and compare pricing to what good deals they can get.

        All my android devices are have come from overseas as I refuse to pay the extra price cause we are aussies!

        • Frankly the Galaxy Tab 10.1 wasn’t the most anticipated Android tablet of 2011, that would be the Motorola Xoom, which has been widely available in Australia for ages and rapidly discounted over previous months. Secondly, many people overlook the fact that a prior version of the Galaxy Tab, the Galaxy Tab 10.1v, was also available in Australia for ages, as well as a 7″ version. None of these tablets have sold well.

          Can I ask, Level380, what tablet do you own?

          • The xoom was very anticipated tablet, but after its US release and average reviews, It was downgraded…. The 10.1v was also anticipated tablet release until Samsung called it a limited run and dropped the details of a thinner lighter better 10.1 tablet, once again it was downgraded. Samsung has a nasty habit of not updating products not sold anymore and the 10.1v falls into that group. Its also to be said that the 10.1v SOLD OUT in Australia, people could no longer buy it as there was no stock.

            The 7″ version was a big phone, and while not a true tablet in googles eyes, was a great product for its time.

            Yes I own a tablet, and even owned an iPad Gen 1, but returned it, it wasn’t for me…

        • Well if your device has come from overseas wouldn’t all those people be able to buy grey imports without the lawsuit affecting them?

          Oh, and any decent argument you were willing to bring to the table was automatically rendered useless the moment you wrote ‘iSheep’ as well as your stereotyping Apple users as people who don’t buy things from websites to get cheaper deals.

  3. Oh this boring argument of which platform is better again, really just grow up. You buy the device that suits your needs , no one and I mean no one, has yet to tell me why one platform suits my needs rather than the another. All I get is both sides saying mine is better without any real facts….. Mind you its certainly not helped by bias in the media. Instead of writing why one platform is better than another, why not just state the facts and let me beside which is better, but I guess that doesn’t sell news papers …. or drive visitors to web sites so you can get the advertising dollars !!!

    • Agreed…. let the better device win.

      Also agreed the media is bias in reporting. With a lot of these ‘reporters; never bothering to learn how to use the device they are reviewing, mixed with apples endless budget for advertising equals an unfair playing ground.

      Its also a little unknown fact that apple ‘punishes’ bad reviews by blacklisting them, resulting in no early release information, no invites to keynotes or press passes and loan devices. So its not in the interest of these places to write bad reviews, which once again makes an unfair playground.

      • You really must leave your bias aside when writing you know. It shines through.

        Do you know what Apple’s advertising spend is?
        Do you have facts to say that Apple or any other tech company has blacklists? Doesn’t invite people to events? or to get load devices?

        I use the best devices that suit me and in this case it’s Apple for computers, tablets and phones. I use Samsung for my TV as I like their interface. I own a Wii, an Xbox 360 and a PS3 for gaming (although my iPad is getting a lot of gaming use lately). I enjoy them all. I’m not trapped by a company.

        Renai and I had a good chat on Twitter today about Apple products and it’s sad that you cannot see by your blind hatred to at least admit they make great pieces of technology.

        • Oh Scott, your bias shines through too. I could say the same thing to you. …… I use the best devices that suits me, which is google web products, android phone and tablet, and its sad that you cannot see by your blind hatred to at least admit google makes some great pieces of technology.

          Just cause I’m singing from the rooftops that I love apple products like you, doesnt mean I must have blind hatred to them!!? Get a grib man and stop drinking the apple koolaid. Don’t put words in my month. I haven’t seen you say a nice thing about google, so by that turn, cause I haven’t said a nice word about apple, you must have blind bias hatred for google?

          I find it funny you say your not ‘trapped’ into a company, but really you are. Itunes is the biggest single lockin product that apple has ever created and I wouldn’t say you are not trapped into ‘lockin’ cause you own 4 gaming platforms (which is sad in other ways), does your PS3 games work in your wii? Can you iPad play your xbox games? Oh no more lockin your now trapped into buying games from those vendors.

          Its also funny, your not trapped by one company, but apple doesn’t make consoles, or TVs. So your point is moot about using these, apple isn’t in this market.

          Do some research on the points I raised about apple blacklisting companies and make our own choice on the mater rather than just writing it off. But clearly, how could you disagree that apple has a large marketing budget with the amount of ads that are ran!?

          • Well that’s good you use Google products. As do I. But I don’t own any device they make so I didn’t mention them.

            As an ex-journo I deal in facts. You don’t mouth off about facts as part of an arguement and then back it up by telling the person to go check it for themselves. Do you know how much Google spend on Advertising? How much Apple do? How much Samsung do?

            I’m not trapped into Apple. I’m trapped into numerous companies and their locked down systems. So what? That’s how companies work.

            Oh and having worked in PR I can tell you that I have heard of many companies blacklisting people media and bloggers. It’s unethical but does happen. Personally I’ve never done anything like that.

            As for your comment about owning four gaming platforms. I actually own a lot more than that but gaming is my hobby and I can spend my money where I choose. Why you thinking owning that many gaming consoles is sad I have no idea.

          • Oh give me a break Scott, you only deal in facts. What a load of FUD! Here is a FACT, You haven’t listed one fact here at all to back any of your claims up at all! and at one point you clearly say you ‘think’ xyz is happening….which is also not a fact.

            Don’t ask me how much xyz company spends on Advertising, when you don’t know yourself. don’t make it out that your above everyone cause you know better. I can use the internet too for research. Here is a FACT, Companies use Advertising, OMFG! I know right!? You know those little ‘tv shows’ they put on during the big tv shows? They are not tv shows, they are ads! So based on the amount of apple vs google vs samsung ‘ads’ I see on TV and in the print media, I would say that apple spends a hell of a lot of money on Advertising the products they make. I don’t need dollar amounts to backup the amount of ads I’m seeing.

            So as a EX PR person, you know companies blacklist people, which I assume is for views/reviews they don’t tend to agree with? Yet when I say apple also does this, I have to prove to you it happens with facts….. Yeah good one! Why do you think apple is so above everyone else?

            As you own no google phones, but have strong views against them, might you think about leveling out your viewpoint out by owning a flagship android device and using it daily so you can compare? As a daily user of a iPhone 4 for business reasons, I would rather my own personal android device any day!

          • Can you guys stop crying over this stupid apple versus android war or whatever.

            In any case, and back on topic, Samsung does actually have a name now, especially after the SGS2, it may not have been as strong as Apples, but its definitely there, and so the ban would have had a noticeable impact on the sales

            The Xoom was anticipated because it was the first real tablet that Android released (honeycomb), the Tab was anticipated because a well known and reputable manufacturer (Samsung) decided to release a tablet that you couldn’t mistake for a chopping board due to its weight and size

            You can’t really use the same logic for Apple tablets as you can for Android ones, there isn’t just a singe Android tablet that people look forward too

  4. The sales won’t have been impacted by Apple’s spat with Samsung; not to a critical degree.

    Android just isn’t selling the in the tablet space. It just isn’t. The compelling reasons just aren’t there yet; this is why we see the trumpeting of an iPad “killer” which becomes discounted (and or discontinued) in short order.

    Folks might want us all to believe Android is the natural winner, however with the fractured market and a propensity for a number of vendors to delay (or even simply not bother) to release timely updates of Android OS releases, that’s really hurting the platform.

    It’s not really a case of which platform is actually the technically better option reflected in the sales figures, it’s simply that Google’s platform is struggling to gain a unified presence, combined with often horribly underpowered devices flooding the market.

    It’s an underwhelming experience for anyone who wants a tablet to “just work” and whom likely doesn’t give a monkey’s testicle which platform it is. Again, there may well be some good hardware examples out there, but the traction a good hardware platform would bring is drowned out by the truly crap hardware.

    Apple has figured out how to get people excited, and they have a unified game plan. All their mobile devices run the same platform and are updated at the same time. It’s single eco-system thinking. Like or loath ’em, that’s a very effective sales formula. Playing the under-dog — as Google often tries to do in this space — I don’t think really works.

  5. I’m going to quietly keep saying this in a quiet little voice, on the off chance that one day I’m right.

    Win 8 tablets…..
    Yup, watch this space.

  6. As this discussion has descended to an os v os discussion , here is how to do it properly..
    Their scope may be a little narrow, just add in your criteria and do a compare and come up with the right product for YOU…..
    I am sure the fact that Ferrari only sell a fraction on the car sales of Ford doesn’t necessarily make Ferrari a “dead” product…..
    However many people in the media are ready to inflame the situation to get more hits or sell more news papers rather than rationally (and without bias) report on innovations and advances.

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