Android tablets outsell iPads in Australia for the first time. But the lead will be short lived

Apple lost its leadership of the Australian tablet market in the first half of this year in terms of unit sales. But it remains clearly dominant when the dollars are tallied, capturing a 70 per cent share of the loot according to new research by Telsyte.

And indeed Android’s moment in the sun is likely to be short lived as the product cycle turns in Apple’s favor according to Telsyte managing director, Foad Fadaghi who says Apple will most likely reclaim its number one spot by the end of 2014.

“Apple should have a strong second half if it can bring upgraded models to market and benefit from a halo effect created by the phone launch”, Fadaghi says. The iPads should profit from the exposure of the Apple brand with the iPhone 6.

Add to that the fact that 70 per cent of Android tablets sold in Australia were sold since the start of last year and it’s clear that the upgrade cycle is more likely to favour iOS than all those freshly minted little green robots.

According to Telsyte’s research, consumers showed more purchase intentions for iPads in H2, and “higher repeat purchase intentions by existing iPad users than Android tablet users.”

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(Image: Telsyte’s Foad Fadaghi)

Overall though the tablet market has come off the boil in Australia, as it has in other geographies. After three years of solid growth, the tablet market has slowed down with only 1.8 million tablets sold in the period representing a 28 per cent decline from the previous six months. As for H2, Telsyte forecasts sales of 2.1 million devices although the sales are likely to be impacted by the new smartphones buyers who might want to delay their tablet purchase.

“A tablet upgrade cycle might not commence until current devices become more readily obsolete, either in terms of computational capability, operating system, application interoperability, graphics or connectivity, Fadaghi says.

One final point, consumers are still having a bet each way on device preference. Fadaghi told Which-50 that 52 per cent of Android phone owners also own a tablet while 69 per cent of iPhone owners likewise have both types of device.

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