A bite of the Ap­ple

More Aus­tralians are be­ing tempted with tablets, writes Jennifer Dud­ley- Ni­chol­son

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Jennifer Dud­ley- Ni­chol­son trav­elled to New York with Sam­sung.

ONE perk of cre­at­ing a new type of tech­nol­ogy is leading the fi eld in that tech­nol­ogy. In 2010, when Ap­ple re­leased its fi rst iPad, it owned the tablet mar­ket.

Even in the year that fol­lowed, few com­peti­tors came close to whit­tling down its mar­ket dom­i­na­tion. But four years af­ter its launch, things have changed and con­sumers are swap­ping al­le­giances.

It’s this swing Sam­sung is seek­ing to cap­i­talise on with its fi rst pre­mium tablet range – the Galaxy Tab S, re­vealed in New York’s Madi­son Square Gar­den this month.

Sam­sung’s new tablets are thin­ner, lighter, and more pow­er­ful than Ap­ple’s cur­rent iPads, and fea­ture higher res­o­lu­tion screens, fin­ger­print sen­sors and space for more stor­age.

The com­pany is also stress­ing the ease with which cus­tomers can switch from Ap­ple’s iOS – once the clear leader in apps – to Google An­droid on which Sam­sung’s new de­vices are based.

Sam­sung prod­uct mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Jenny Goodridge says ditch­ing a li­brary of paid apps to swap to a Google tablet used to be a sig­nifi cantly harder sell, be­fore more apps went Google.

“App ecosys­tems used to be walled gar­dens where users were locked in based on the apps they pur­chased,” she says.

“Users now have more free­dom to swap be­tween ecosys­tems be­cause apps are com­monly avail­able on both. We want con­sumers to have that choice.”

And while Goodridge says Sam­sung is still only the sec­ond- most pop­u­lar tablet maker in Aus­tralia, global sales show the grow­ing infl uence of Google An­droid.

Google- based tablets ac­counted for 61 per cent of world­wide sales last year, ac­cord­ing to IT re­search fi rm Gart­ner, com­pared to 36 per cent for Ap­ple.

In Aus­tralia, Ap­ple sold more than 2.6 mil­lion tablets last year, Tel­syte re­ports, while Google-based tablets ac­counted for 1.9 mil­lion sales.

Tel­syte also notes Ap­ple’s Aus­tralian mar­ket share dropped from 72 per cent in 2012 to 55 per cent last year.

Tel­syte es­ti­mates 9.4 mil­lion Aus­tralians were us­ing tablets last year, but more than 22 mil­lion will be us­ing the tech­nol­ogy by 2018. Goodridge says Sam­sung is not only tar­get­ing fi rst- time tablet buy­ers with its new “mass pre­mium” Tab S range, but also buy­ers who want to use their de­vices on the move.

While Sam­sung re­search shows most tablets are used for web brows­ing, watch­ing videos and us­ing so­cial net­works from home, she says

Users now have more free­dom to swap be­tween ecosys­tems … We want con­sumers to have that choice

the 6.6mm profi le of the Tab S tablets, their light weight, 4G con­nec­tiv­ity, and the avail­abil­ity of an 8.4- inch model is de­signed to con­vince new and re­turn­ing con­sumers tablets are highly mo­bile de­vices.

“We’re see­ing a lot more in­di­vid­ual pur­chases in­stead of tablets pur­chased for the house­hold and they will fuel the mar­ket,” Goodridge says.

Sam­sung’s pre­mium tablets are due to be launched in Aus­tralia next month, with prices ex­pected to be around the $ 600 mark.

Ap­ple is tipped to launch a new iPad Air in Septem­ber or Oc­to­ber. Ru­mours are the so­called iPad Air 2 will fea­ture a fin­ger­print scan­ner and a more pow­er­ful chip.

DAILY DOSE: The Galaxy Tab S is the lat­est tablet off er­ing from Sam­sung.

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