A bite of the Apple
More Australians are being tempted with tablets, writes Jennifer Dudley- Nicholson
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.