Nov 1, 2013
The tablet market was essentially created by Apple, and now their latest model the iPad Air, has just hit the market today.
A largely unexpected move, the iPad Air looks to build upon the success of previous models, retaining a high quality display, whilst thinning down the physical aspects.
The 64-bit architecture released in the recent 5S is present, alongside the all-powerful A7 chip that everyone is talking about. Alongside this, a new iPad Mini was announced, donning a retina display to match its larger cousin.
What does this mean for the tablet world? It could mean that Apple’s dominance is set to reach even greater heights. But whether a chip or 64-bit is enough to convince a more casual audience to drop at least £399 on the low-tier model is the question at hand. Apple are not going after the budget market, which has much less profit, and so are relying on their branding to gain more sales.
The current iPad Mini has received a price drop, which could see more budget buyers flock to the device. With rumours of Google’s Nexus 10/11 on the horizon, the uprising of Android could still remain. Many experts have predicted Android’s takeover of the tablet market soon, and so this move by Apple is crucial to see where this takes the market in the future.
Games wise, many more games are optimized for tablets on iOS, due to the fewer models, and large userbase with existing iPads. Yet if Google manage to overtake the iPad, then developers could easily make the switch to Android, and optimize their apps for their devices; especially if something like the Nexus 10 can gain traction, and become a direct competitor to the iPad. This would be much more preferable, compared to the current vast array of cheap to expensive hardware, where it is impossible to support all Android models.
Gartner has said that 53.9% of all tablets shipped in 2012 ran iOS, which is quite the share. Yet when considering the iPad was the first of it’s kind all those years ago, it shows there is a lot of competition. The same firm also predict Android to gain 49.6% share of the market this year, compared to Apple’s 48.6%, which will inevitably increase in the future.
Jack Kent, the mobile media analyst, stated that “It is in terms of revenue per active device where Apple’s lead is strongest.. An iOS device generates around three to four times as much app revenue through Apple’s App Store as an Android device through Google Play.”
This could be a crucial factor for many app developers. Partly down to the standardisation of the hardware, but also consumer habits, Apple make a lot of profit through taking a share of app sales.
Google look set to increase the sales via Google Play, having rebranded it and launching top-quality apps for their devices. If they can match the success of Apple’s app store, then they could be set to dominate the tablet field in the future.
With Google Play missing out on popular freemium titles in the past few months alone, such as Plants vs Zombies 2 and Sonic Dash, Google look set to build on their weaknesses. With a history of developers launching their titles on iOS first, such as BADLAND, many are looking to the Android platform as more viable, as it is currently virtually equal in quality and userbase. Clash of Clans finally released on Android after nearly a year on iOS devices, showing that huge developers are making the transition to Apple’s rival.
Android looks set to cause a lot of trouble for Apple in the next year or so, yet if Google’s platform can remain innovative and provide customers with good value devices, it could become the best medium for developers to release their apps.