Magazine article Marketing

Apple's Lead under Threat

Magazine article Marketing

Apple's Lead under Threat

Article excerpt

It revived the market with the iPad, but can it fend off challenger tablet brands, asks Kim Benjamin.

Competitors are turning up the pressure in the tablet sector on market-leader Apple.

While sales of the latter's latest tablet, the iPad Mini, may have gone through the roof when it was launched to the public earlier this month - the brand said it had sold 3m iPads (including the Mini and the fourth-generation version of the original iPad) in the first weekend following the Mini's launch - Apple faces increasing pressure from cheaper, Android-based products and a growing number of competitors including Samsung, with its Galaxy devices, and Amazon, which released its Kindle Fire HD tablet in the UK last month.

Microsoft, too, is getting in on the act, with its first own-brand tablet, the Surface, aimed at those who want to use Office software as well as surf the web.

According to a recent report from research company IDC, Apple's share of the market has fallen, dropping from 59.7% of all tablet shipments in the third quarter of 2011 (before it launched new products) to 50.4% at the same point this year. Samsung's share jumped from 6.5% to 18.4%, while Amazon has captured 9% of the market with its Kindle Fire products, a colour LED touchscreen extension of its Kindle range of e-reader devices, after less than a year on the market.

Apple has previously fended off challengers in the tablet market, such as Hewlett-Packard, but with the bar in the sector likely to be raised higher than ever in the months ahead, can Apple hold its own and ensure it remains at least one step ahead of the competition?

Marketing asked Paul Trueman, head of marketing, UK & Ireland at MasterCard, and former group marketing director at LG Electronics, and Ramzi Yakob, strategist at digital strategy agency TH_NK, which works with brands including Research in Motion and Sony, for their views.

Helen Edwards, page 26

APPLE STATS

14m - iPads were sold in Apple's most recent quarter

26.1% - the growth in Apple's shipments over the past year

Sources: Apple, IDC.

DIAGNOSIS

Two industry experts on how Apple should tackle the increase in tablet competition

PAUL TRUEMAN, HEAD OF MARKETING, UK & IRELAND, MASTERCARD (and former group marketing director at LG)

Apple has been the sector leader for some time, but competitors are getting smarter both in phones and tablets and want an increased share. …

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