Apple Now Third In Mobile PC Share

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Apple’s iPad has helped the company grab 12.4 percent of the worldwide mobile PC market, according to DisplaySearch.

However, a study by Strategy Analytics indicates the influx of competing, less expensive products next year could curb some of Apple’s growth.

The 12.4 percent pushed Apple passed Dell, which garnered 11 percent of the mobile PC market in the third quarter. Hewlett- Packard retained the top spot, with 17.3 percent of the market, but second-place Acer closed the gap with a 16.5 percent share.

Toshiba was a distant fifth place, with 8 percent of the market.

The DisplaySearch report gave the iPad full credit for Apple’s upward momentum, noting the lack of a competitive product gives Apple the edge right now, said Chris Connery, DisplaySearch’s VP of large format displays.

However, this could change next year.

“As other players come to market with tablet PCs, it will be interesting to see if they can move beyond the Western-centric nature of Apple’s product and develop an infrastructure to support local needs, especially with the growth of consumer spending in China on personal computing devices,” he said.

Strategy Analytics says that in 2010, 11.4 million tablets at an average retail selling price of $600 will be sold in the U.S. Mainly Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy tablet.

Already Acer and ViewSonic have announced tablets that will ship during the first half, and many other companies will show tablets at CES next month.

The Strategy Analytics survey: Apple’s iPad: Users, Buying Intentions and Price Expectations offers strong evidence that other technology firms such as Blackberry/RIM, Samsung and Motorola should be able use their own brand loyalty to tap into the burgeoning demand for tablet devices.

The Strategy Analytics report strongly hinted Apple may find the iPad under increasing pressure from these and other lower priced tablets that will hit the market in 2011. The research firm’s survey of 4,800 people in the U.S. and Europe found most expected to pay less than $500 for a tablet device.

Strategy Analytics principle analyst David Mercer postulated that since the iPad starting price is at the upper edge of what many want to pay the iPad will see its first true competition in the market.

“As tablets from other major brands begin to arrive we expect price competition to heat up, and many consumers tell us they are waiting for lower-priced devices,” said Mercer.

Other findings in the Strategy Analytics study found iPad purchasers are not coming just from the ranks of Apple product owners. For example only 22 percent of iPad owners have an iPhone. The survey also discovered that iPad owners were most likely to own a computer from Acer or Dell and more people expect to buy an iPad in the next 12 month than either a PlayStation 3 or Xbox game console.


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