Could Apple’s grip on the tablet market be loosened?
There seems to be no stopping Apple when it comes to tablet sales. At the moment, the US technology behemoth’s products account for nearly 70% of the market.
But, could that be set to change with a partnership of two giants of the electronics world – search engine king Google and Samsung, the world’s biggest technology company by revenue?
According to analysts, Google is working with Samsung to produce a new 10-inch Nexus tablet computer.
Richard Shim, who is an analyst at global information firm NPD DisplaySearch, revealed Samsung and Google are putting their combined might together to create the new tablet with an extremely high resolution screen.
Shim said the new tablet will be very much aimed at the high-end of the market, with a screen resolution of 2,560×1,600 pixels. That means it will be a higher pixel density than Apple’s new iPad retina display, which is 2,048×1,536.
“It’s going to be a high-end device, in contrast with Google’s $199 Nexus 7 and upcoming $99 tablet,” he added. Shim said his information was reliable as it was based on “supply chain indications”.
With Apple rumoured to be launching a mini iPad to compete with the 7” tablets like Google’s, it looks like the two will be going head to head at both ends of the market.
Google’s first Nexus tablet was produced in partnership with Taiwanese multinational Asus. But it is not the first time Samsung and Google have worked together. They paired up to make the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S Smartphones.
We’re not sure yet what version of Android the new tablet will run on but, given Google has so far used its Nexus devices to showcase its very latest software, it could well be the first tablet out there to run with Android Key Lime Pie, named after the Florida-born dessert.
No indications have been given just yet about how much this new 10.1 tablet is likely to cost but, given its amazingly high resolution, it is not going to be cheap.
According to senior practice director for mobile devices at ABI research, Jeff Orr, tablet makers are on track to have sold between 102 million to 110 million units by the end of 2012, most of them iPads.
Orr believes that Windows 8 tablets will eat into the Android share at first rather than hurting Apple. At the moment, Samsung takes second place, with 8 per cent of the market, with Amazon having 4 per cent.
So, key to Google unseating Apple’s iPad from the tablet throne, could very well be the price point. If Google and Samsung do manage to bring theirs in for a similar price to Apple then the US firm could very well have a real competitor for the first time.
Apple is widely expected to announce a new, smaller iPad next week. The new device is, according to analysts expected to have a screen of around seven inches, placing it in direct competition with Google’s Nexus 7
The tablet market is certainly becoming very crowded.