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Motorola Xoom needs a price cut  (Source: Motorola)
Android tablet shipment forecast cut as iPad shipment expectations grow

The tablet market is growing by leaps and bounds and Apple with its iPad is the source of much of that growth. There are a number of Android tablets on the market today, but they aren't selling well and some users are complaining about the Honeycomb operating system and the availability of tablet-specific apps.

Analysts have agreed that the tablets are taking market share from the notebook and netbook, but the outlook for tablets overall has taken a downturn recently. The reason that the estimates for overall shipments by analysts are changing has to do with the sinking popularity of Android tablets. While Android offerings are seeing estimates for shipments cut, the iPad is actually being increased.
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek noted about six months ago that the forecast for 2011 tablet sales was 100 million. After a recent poll of consumers, Misek has changed his predictions by a whopping 30% reports eWeek. He believes that 70 million tablets shipped is a more realistic expectation.

Misek wrote in a research note, "We now believe 70 million to be more realistic due to: 1) Android 3.0 Honeycomb needing polishing, and 2) Android tablets that are priced too high."

Misek also thinks that if tablet makers like Motorola and Samsung want to compete with the iPad, they are going to need to take a hit and cut the price. Bill Shope from Goldman Sachs also lowered the overall estimates for tablet shipments in 2011 and 2012. The decline was due to reduced estimates for Android tablets, the estimates for iPad shipments actually increased.

Shope wrote, "Our iPad forecast remains unchanged, though we have lowered our non-Apple tablet unit assumptions by 2.3 million units in 2011 and 2012." He continued, "Meanwhile, we have raised our forecast for Apple's tablet market share to 66.4 percent in 2011 (64 percent prior) and 66.6 percent in 2012 (65 percent prior). Overall, we are expecting 57.7 million total tablets for 2011 and 78.0 million tablets for 2012, versus 60.1 million and 80.3 million previously."

NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has also said that for Android tablets to be competitive, they need to be cheaper. NVIDIA has a vested interest in the Android tablet market since his company makes the Tegra processors that many of the newest Android tablets use.



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RE: This is not surprising
By themaster08 on 5/19/2011 3:09:49 AM , Rating: 2
I believe that the Transformer will set the benchmark for Android tablets, and force current manufacturers to rethink their ideas. It is the only tablet so far that I have actually been interested in, and think has a chance of being hugely successful.

I believe it will spur on a whole new wave of tablets with similar functionality. This sort of tablet may spur on an array of new applications that require a more precise input method, thus also appealing to content creators.

Using a detachable keyboard and trackpad dock, Android tablets will be able to surpass the iPad in terms of features, functionality, content creation, and also achieve battery life the iPad could only dream of. The Transformer has shown that all of this is possible now.

There is so much potential for Android tablets. Manufacturers need to stop living in Apple's shadow and actually innovate. That, and they need to seriously work on their pricing model. This is their chance to actually differentiate themselves from the iPad, and bring something to the table that is more capable, and better value for money.

If tablet manufacturers can drop their prices to those of netbooks, they will find themselves in a much better position, and also consume the remainder of the netbook market. Until then, the iPad will continue to sell in its droves, continue to have a stranglehold on applications and become more and more of a household name.

It's simple - make sure your tablet brings something new and different, create a pricepoint that cannot be matched, make sure you have the supply chain to cope with the demand, have a simple naming convention for your tablet so that people remember it, and market the hell out of it so that people know it actually exists.


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