March 07, 2012 06:00 ET

Apple iPad Continues to Dominate Tablet Market but New Trends Highlight Opportunities for Competing OEMs

iGR Study Shows That Amazon Kindle Fire Carries Android OS Through End of 2011, Accounting for 61% of All Android-Based Tablet Sales in 4Q2011 Alone

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - Mar 7, 2012) - When it comes to buying a tablet computer, consumers are interested in two things: price and content. Moreover, the vast majority of those interested in a tablet only want one -- the Apple iPad -- according to a new study by wireless and mobile market research consultancy iGR.

In 2011, Apple sold about 19.63 million iPads in the U.S. The total market in 2011 was just over 28.1 million units. Android-based tablet sales in 2011 totaled approximately 7.7 million -- a substantial number, certainly -- but 47 percent of those sales happened in the fourth quarter and 61 percent of those 4Q sales were generated by Amazon. Put another way, Amazon sold more Android-based tablets in the last two months of the year than any other Android tablet OEM did in all of 2011.

"Clearly, this study shows that the Apple iPad continues to dominate the U.S. tablet market, even after the launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry. "While Amazon has made some inroads into the market, the other OEMs have had little impact to date. That said, there are signs in the consumer base of potential acceptance of alternative platforms. For Apple's competitors, now is the time to rethink the tablet market and attack the opportunity again."

Throughout the forecast period, we expect Apple to continue dominating tablet sales. But we do expect that competing platforms -- Android and Windows -- will sell in significant volumes through 2016. In 2016, for example, iGR forecasts tablet sales in the U.S. to reach approximately 45.3 million. On an OS basis, we are forecasting that Apple will sell approximately 27.3 million tablets in 2016; Android-based tablet sales will reach about 13.9 million.

iGR's new market research report, U.S. Tablet Sales Forecast: 2011-2016, provides an analysis of the overall tablet market in the U.S. and discusses the survey data and analysis which led to its conclusion. The report includes an overview of tablet market drivers, including pricing and content, as well as quarterly U.S. tablet sales estimates and forecast by platform and OEM.

The following key questions are addressed in the new research study:

  • What tablet OEMs have performed the best to date?

  • What tablet features (including hardware, content, etc.) are most appealing to end users?

  • What price points resonate most strongly with end users?

  • What tablet operating systems are likely to perform best over the forecast period?

As compared to the market for smartphones, the current monthly sales of tablets are relatively modest. Our research suggests that tablets are, at present, primarily purchased as an additional computing device, not necessarily a true replacement device. Over the forecast period, this is anticipated to change, creating more market opportunity for tablet OEMs.

This report provides commentary on the current market trends and key buying criteria among U.S. end-users, helping provide a framework for iGR's tablet forecast and expectations for future tablet demand.

The new report can be purchased and downloaded directly from iGR's website from the following link: U.S. Tablet Sales Forecast: 2011-2016. Alternatively, contact Amanda Louie at (512) 554-1701 or at for additional details.

About iGR

iGR is a market strategy consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile communications industry. Founded by Iain Gillott, one of the wireless industry's leading analysts, in late 2000 as iGillottResearch, iGR is now entering its twelfth year of operation. iGR continuously researches emerging and existent technologies, technology industries, and consumer markets. We use our detailed research to offer a range of services to help companies improve their position in the marketplace, clearly define their future direction, and ultimately improve their bottom line.

iGR researches a range of wireless and mobile products and technologies, including: smartphones; tablets; mobile applications; bandwidth demand and use; small cell architectures; DAS; LTE; WiMAX; VoLTE; IMS; NFC; GSM/GPRS/UMTS/HSPA; CDMA 1x/EV-DO; iDEN; SIP; macro-, pico- and femtocells; mobile backhaul; WiFi and WiFi offload; and SIM and UICC.

A more complete profile of the company can be found at

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