The growth of the media tablet market in A/NZ slowed down in Q3 2011, according to IDC.
A recent report by the analyst firm, titled Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker (2011 Q3), found that the tablet market only rose by 3.1 per cent quarter on quarter (QoQ) with 434,000 units shipped.
While Android tablets grew in popularity in New Zealand by more than 60 per cent QoQ, in Australia, it dropped by 37 per cent from the previous quarter.
IDC A/NZ Market Analyst, Yee-Kuan Lau, attributes the Australian results to the initial excitement for Android tablets in Q2 tapering off in Q3, mosy likely the result of the continued popularity of Apple’s iPad 2.
“The exit of low-cost Android tablets such as Optus MyTab and Telstra T-Touch, and the court case over Samsung's Galaxy 10.1 slowed down Android’s momentum in Australia as well,” Lau added.
On the other hand, the growth of the New Zealand tablet market in the same period was attributed to the collective efforts of vendors such as Motorola, Acer, Asus and Samsung, which were able to sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the country.
While the unit share of Android tablets in A/NZ dropped by eight points in Q3 from the previous quarter for an overall 16.5 per cent total market share, Apple's iPad 2 market share grew to 77.7 per cent in the same quarter, with the remainder of the market occupied by RIM's PlayBook and HP’s short-lived TouchPad.
“Apple continues to grow in A/NZ with additional retail stores followed by a channel expansion: selling through Australian telco operators for the first time and appointing Ingram Micro as a second distributor in New Zealand,” Lau explained.
“Consumers now have more device choices such as Ultrabooks, although the impact of this form factor on media tablets remains minimal at this stage."
Despite a downturn in Q3, IDC foresees consumer interest in Android tablets picking up when devices with the 4.0 OS are launched, as well as when LTE-capable devices hit the market in the near future.
The analyst firm’s Christmas forecast is that Android-based tablets shipments in A/NZ are going to reach just shy of 100,000 units for a potential 20 per cent share in Q4.
Apple iOS is expected to be a big winner during the Christmas period, contributing to an overall total of approximately 1.5 million tablet devices being shipped into the A/NZ channel by the end of the year.
Despite the sales ban for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 being lifted in mid-December in time for the Christmas season, IDC does not foresee the last minute sales of the device to make a significant contribution to overall Q4 sales in Australia.