Forget Samsung, Acer is surprise leader in Oz tab battle.
WiFi-only tablets were also a clear winner outselling combined WiFi/3G device shipments in Australia and New Zealand last year, accounting for 54% of the 644,000 units shipped in Q4.
The ANZ media tablet market surpassed the 1 million mark in 2011 with 1.67m units shipped at year end, according to the IDC’s A/NZ Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker.
The less pricey WiFi-only models appealed to consumers as a gift especially during the Christmas season, compared to pricier WiFi +3G, said Yee-Kuan Lau, IDC analyst.
Australia contributed to 91.3% of total shipments in ANZ, which in the second half of 2011, grew by 147%.The launch of Android tablets including Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Acer’s Iconia coupled with Apple’s channel expansion strategy tablet growth.
And it looks like Acer was a big winner on the Android front, followed closely by Motorola and ASUS. So where was top dog Samsung?
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 maker rejoined the Android crowd only in mid-December, following the lifting of the sale ban of the Galaxy Tab, although it still managed to climb to fourth place “driven by the free publicity from the media coverage of a well-publicised Federal Court case,” analysts noted.
But Android OS tabs still accounted for just 15% of all tablets sold with behometh Apple nabbing almost 84% market share and even grew 35%, despite not releasing any new models since the iPad 2 almost a year ago and competition from a slew of Androids.
And it looks like iPad domination is here to stay in 2012, with the new iPad model selling out on pre orders on Apple online, which IDC confirmed.
“Apple’s iOS is expected to maintain its dominance in both markets and retain its growth momentum.”
However, it may not be all roses for Apple with the incompatibility of the new iPad’s 4G connectivity with 4G network in Oz may provide a competitive edge to those media tablets that are compatible i.e Motorola’s new device and Samsung’s 4G Galaxy 8.9 Tab.
The introduction of Wifi/4G tablets will encourage more purchases of these devices through telecos other than retailers, say IDC, since Telstra & Co offer mobile plans with small monthly device charges.
While the decision to sell the iPad 2 for the first time through Telstra and Optus was not a key factor in the tablet explosion, it has helped to increase foot traffic in telco stores and encouraged consumers to consider purchasing such as device.
“Growth will be accelerated as these devices find their way into organisations while enterprise mobility is to come of age in ANZ,” Lau predicts.
IDC expects the Oz media tablet market to expand 50% in 2012, while the New Zealand market is expected to bounce back from the Christchurch earthquake with phenomenal 70% growth.