Quality Android tablets make big inroads into Apple’s market share

April 18, 2013, 11:15 AM UTC

Consumers now see some Android devices as equal in quality to Apple’s iPad

YouGov’s Quarterly Tablet Tracker for Q1 2013 reveals consumers now see Android devices as equal in quality to Apple’s, deeply cutting into the iPad manufacturer’s share of the ‘premium’ tablet market.

Despite retaining the lion’s share of the UK tablet market, Apple has seen its share of ownership drop 10 percentage points in the last year, falling from 73% in Q1 2012 to 63% in Q1 2013. This decline in market share comes despite the recent releases of its 4th generation iPad and iPad Mini. 

The main reason for this slump in share is the emergence of quality competitors. Samsung has more than doubled its share of the UK tablet market in the past year, improving from 4% in Q1 2012 to 10% in Q1 2013. Consumers rate the Korean company’s Galaxy product equal to iPads in terms of quality (except in relation to the iPad Mini). 

Two new devices have stolen a march on Apple. Most impressive is the emergence of the Google Nexus 7, picking up 8% of the market in less than a year. Again, with the exception of the iPad Mini, consumers give it higher quality scores than its Samsung and Apple rivals. The other is Amazon’s Kindle Fire that now represents 5% of the market, up from 1% last quarter.

The good news for Apple is that three months after its UK launch, the iPad Mini enjoyed a 4% market share and generates the highest satisfaction score overall and across eight of the nine quality attributes.    

YouGov’s Quarterly Tablet Tracker shows that over 18% of the UK adult population (more than 8 million adults) now own a tablet device, representing an increase of 5% since Q4 2012.

John Gilbert, Consulting Director of YouGov Technology & Telecoms, says: “With a growing market, greater competition and falling prices, Apple was bound to lose some share.  However, it is not simply a matter of inexpensive products flooding the market.  It seems that Apple no longer has a monopoly on the “premium” share as other brands emerge with near-equal satisfaction scores. Given the market’s current expectations and considerations in purchasing tablets, we anticipate Apple to lose additional share throughout the coming year to Samsung, Google and Amazon.”