HP has decided to take another hack at tablets, this time using Android as the operating system. I don’t expect the results to be much different from last time.
For those of you who don’t remember — and HP’s foray into tablets was so brief you would be forgiven if you’ve forgotten — HP bought Palm in April, 2010 for $1.2 billion. The idea at the time was take webOS, Palm’s mobile operating environment and build an HP line of tablets and mobile phones.
It seemed like a surprisingly sound strategy. A year after purchasing Palm, HP came out with the TouchPad tablet running WebOS. There were mobile phones in the pipeline. Everything looked rosy, then a mere 45 days after releasing the first TouchPads, HP pulled the plug on the entire strategy and held a fire sale.
Since that fateful decision to axe its mobile strategy, the company has been in downward spiral. There were plans to spin off the printer and PC divisions that also fell through. There have multiple CEOs. The latest Meg Whitman has overseen a massive layoff and the company appears to be in decline.
Yet HP remains the largest PC maker in the world — for now. The problem being that PC sales are declining as tablets begin their ascension as primary computing devices. As I wrote last week in Tablets are Taking a Bite Out of the PC Market, “Last quarter Apple sold 23 million iPads, while HP — the world’s largest PC maker — sold 15m PCs.”
Even myopic HP can see that having a tablet is essential to any company’s hardware strategy these days. So more than 18 months since it gave up the last one, rumors have surfaced that HP is planning on building and marketing a high-end Android tablet. Talk about being a way too late.
First of all it’s unclear anyone would want a high-end Android tablet. Apple is already firmly entrenched at the high end of the tablet market. Microsoft is trying to offer an alternative hybrid device for even more money than the most expensive iPad. I don’t see how HP can fit into this market and find any space to operate.
It’s even more crowded at the lower end of the market where Amazon is offering the Kindle Fire HD for as low as $199. Google is offering the Nexus 7 for $199 and the Nexus 10 for as low as $399. There are countless other competitors including Lenovo and Asus offering a range of alternatives.
The problem for HP is that market is far more difficult to maneuver in than it was in 2011 and the Android market is crowded with competitors who have been doing it much longer.
Whether HP comes out with a tablet or ignores the tablet market altogether doesn’t really matter because the market has moved on, and HP like so many other decisions in recent years has waited too long and is way late to the game.]]>
The age of the tablet is upon us. The Guardian reports that Tim Cook, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Conference yesterday shared one piece of data that summed it up best. Last quarter Apple sold 23 million iPads, while HP — the world’s largest PC maker — sold 15m PCs.
What’s more, Cook told the audience he didn’t care if the iPad sales were eating into his desktop and laptop computer sales because the future market potential for tablets was so huge, it didn’t matter.
“The projection is that this is going to triple in four years – that’s 375 million, more than the number of PCs being sold around the world. The tablet is attracting people who have never owned a PC, and people who have owned [PCs] but it wasn’t great in the experience,” The Guardian quoted him as saying.
If you doubted the ascendancy of the tablet, these numbers illustrate that it’s happening right now probably faster than anyone believed it would. When I write about these types of changes, I get comments from old-school IT pros who scoff at the idea that a tablet could replace a PC. ‘You won’t someone using an iPad to design a car,’ they tell me.
And they’re probably right. Just because the tablet is overtaking the PC, it doesn’t mean that they are full out replacing every one. If HP sold 15 million PCs last quarter, surely that’s still a big number. But tablets have proven to be able to do a lot of tasks, we used to use PCs for or schlepped our laptops along.
And Apple isn’t alone in the market of course. Microsoft is trying its hand at the market, the same one where BlackBerry, HP and others have tried before and failed. Many believe Microsoft’s hybrid approach may be attractive to corporate workers, but the jury is still very much out on that one in spite of reports of selling out the Surface Pro upon release last week. Amazon is selling a fair number and there are a number of other Android tablet makers such as Samsung that appear to be doing doing quite well — to the extent we can know of course.
Cook was skeptical of projected market share numbers that get bandied about by various firms, and which supposedly show his company’s market share dropping under 50 percent. That’s because as he points out, his is the only company that’s actually announcing the number of units sold. But if you’re selling the kind of volume Apple is selling of these devices, you have to feel pretty good about your market position, regardless of what IDC, Gartner or Forrester has to say about it.
If Microsoft does sell 200 million units as a Forrester report projected recently, it could be at the expense of Apple, Google or Amazon or could be part of what appears to be an expanding tablet market where there is certainly room for more than one dominant player. I’ll go on record as saying I’m skeptical about the 200 million number — and I’ll believe it when I see it.
For now, whatever brand you prefer — and it’s entirely possible you have different tablets for different roles — it’s clear that the age of the tablet is here, and while the PC is not going extinct any time soon, its days of dominance might be behind us.]]>
When I heard Microsoft’s pricing for the upcoming Surface Pro on Thursday, my jaw literally dropped. Ed Bott reported on ZDNet that the pricing would be as follows:
The new Surface will debut in two editions in the United States and Canada: one with 64 GB of storage, priced at $899, a second with 128 GB for $999. Each model comes with a Surface pen but does not include Touch Cover or Type Cover add-ons ($120 and $130, respectively).
Excuse but as one friend put it when he heard the news, “Steve Ballmer must be huffing kerosene.” Even folks who were lusting for the Pro tablet have to pause when the cheapest option with cover and keyboard — and let’s face it they are selling the keyboard as a key feature — is $1149. Add on sales tax and you’re getting close to $1200. That’s not tablet pricing — that’s a pretty nice laptop and if you’re going to buy a laptop, buy a laptop. Why buy a hybrid device for that kind of money?
As though that’s not bad enough, Mary Jo Foley reports that the Surface Pro is going to have half the battery life of the Surface RT. That means 4-5 hours maximum so the Surface Pro is going to have the battery life a typical Ultrabook, which what I suspect people will buy if they want to spend this kind of money.
Microsoft has been blitzing the airwaves with Surface RT ads and word is they still aren’t selling. Last week even Ballmer himself admitted sales were off to what he called a “modest start.” That’s CEO code for we’re tanking. But the implication has always been that we really need to wait for Surface Pro to see where this is going to go.
Analyst Gene Munster claimed based on his onsite Black Friday research at Mall of America that Apple was moving 11 iPads an hour at the Apple store, while Microsoft was selling a big fat zero Surface RTs at the Microsoft Store. When I was at the SharePoint Conference earlier this month, I saw a couple of Surface RTs, but not as many as you would expect at a Microsoft-centric event. I think it’s fair to say that they aren’t selling very well.
And with these prices, it seems highly unlikely to me that Microsoft is going to move many of the Surface Pros. I can’t imagine someone paying $1200 for a tablet with 4 or 5 hours of battery life. I mean this kind of pricing makes iPads look positively affordable.
I’ve heard the arguments that this is a laptop replacement, and it’s a new kind of device, but I’m really not buying it. Let’s be honest here, the Surface is first and foremost a tablet. Microsoft created it to be a player in the tablet market and to compete with the iPad. Their strategy to is to have an operating system that has the same look and feel from desktop and laptop to tablet to phone. And the Surface family is the tablet part of the equation.
So let’s compare Surface Pro and iPad pricing. I’m going to put the iPad 2 and iPad mini aside here for comparing purposes and just use the 64 GB iPad WiFi with Retina Display. Apple doesn’t sell a 128 GB version of the iPad and the Surface Pro doesn’t support mobile broadband. Apple charges $699 for the latest iPad compared with $899 for the Surface Pro. That’s a pretty significant gap.
If you want a bluetooth keyboard and case you can get one like this iHome keyboard and case unit at Radio Shack for around $50 (and there are tons of other options at a range of prices). That’s $749 plus tax.
Microsoft would have been far smarter to cut the prices and lose money to be cheaper or at least equal to the iPad than making the Surface Pro significantly more expensive. And I haven’t even mentioned the cheaper Android tablets at the other end of the market because this device clearly isn’t competing with those. But I’m still left wondering what Microsoft could possibly have been thinking with these prices.
I’m predicting right now that the Surface Pro will be the biggest dud since the RIM Playbook or the HP TouchPad and I’m fully expecting a similar level of success — which is to say none at all. Look for these to go on clearance by the end of Q1.
Photo by methodshop.com on Flickr.
We’ve got big tablets and small ones. We’ve got iOS, Android and Windows. We’ve got so many choices from so many manufacturers, it’s hard to keep up with the bevy of announcements. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a bit confused by the choices and I’m sure I’m not alone.
And it looks like by the end of this week, we are going to have a couple of more tablet entries to think about. It appears we will finally see the long-rumored 7 inch iPad announced tomorrow and Microsoft is having its Microsoft Surface with Windows RT coming out party on Friday. Meanwhile, there are rumors of a 10 inch Google Nexus tablet by the end of the month.
It’s enough to make your head spin, and I’m a journalist paid to keep up with all of this. I can only imagine how consumers must feel right about now.
Let’s start with Apple. We aren’t even sure that there is going to be an iPad Mini (or whatever Apple calls it) tomorrow, but it sure looks like it. And if it happens, it will finally put an end to months of speculation that Apple has been working on a smaller iPad or a larger iPod Touch (depending on how you look at it).
The irony of Apple making a 7 inch tablet is clear. As Charles Arthur points out in the Guardian, Steve Jobs trashed the idea of smaller tablets during a 2010 earnings call. That Apple is making one now could mean it recognizes a market opportunity when it sees it, or without Jobs’ council or browbeating, it is listening to the marketing department instead of engineering.
Then we have Google’s march into the hardware market. I’ve made it clear in this space in the past that I don’t think highly of this approach. That’s because I believe Google succeeds when it spreads its software to as many devices as possible, and when it sells hardware it undercuts its resellers. That said, I’ve looked at the Nexus 7 tablet and I enjoyed using it for the short time I played with it at my local Staples, but I’m not convinced that Google should be pushing the Android brand with its own Google-branded hardware.
Which brings us to Microsoft, which takes its long awaited stab at the tablet market starting later this week. Of course, we’ve been hearing about this thing for months too, and this week, Microsoft finally becomes a player in this space for better or worse. Much like Google, I don’t think Microsoft necessarily should be selling Microsoft-branded tablets and undercutting their resellers, but they are and they are yet another choice on the shelf.
For the record, Microsoft Surface with Windows RT doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, and I can’t be the only one confounded by this Windows RT branding. Why have a pro and consumer version? The confusion only grows because apparently you can’t use Office on Windows RT tablets. While Microsoft may want emulate Apple by selling hardware, it hasn’t followed Apple’s lead when it comes to keeping the product line streamlined and clear.
I haven’t even mentioned Amazon, but mostly because I don’t truly see consumers bringing Amazon devices into the enterprise for work.
Regardless, the tablets are coming and there is little we can do, but sit back and wait for the dust to settle. Before you get too excited though, think back a year or so to when RIM released the PlayBook and HP released the TouchPad, both to a similar level of hype and fanfare we are seeing now. Then think about what happened to them. Which company will join them? Time to place your bets and mine sticks firmly with the market leader until somebody proves otherwise.
Photo Credit: morrissey on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.]]>
In an interview last week with CRN, an HP official was happy, serene and confident. When it came to the tablet market, he wasn’t threatened by Microsoft’s Surface tablets. Nope, in fact, he was fine with it, and he believes that HP can compete even with the mighty Apple when its tablet hits the market later this year. Dream on.
Delusion is great especially from a company that tried to enter the tablet market once before with the HP TouchPad and failed so spectacularly that it was on the market for a whole 45 days before the company pulled the plug and held a $99, Get-’Em-While-They-Last, fire sale. I think based on this, we’ve earned the right to be a tad skeptical about such pronouncements.
This is HP after all, the same company that’s gone through 3 CEOs in the last four years, the same company that has so many SKUs for each product type, even their own engineers can’t keep track, and yes, the same company that is in the process of laying off 27,000 of its employees.
In other words, this is a company in free fall that seems out of touch with the current market.
Now HP expects us to believe, it has some super-duper, ultra-cool, top-secret features that are going to somehow give it the traction in the tablet market where so many others including HP itself have failed. If HP were smart it would have carried through with Leo Apotheker’s plan to spin off the PC division altogether. Just a year ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that HP was planning to do just that, but when Apotheker was fired 6 weeks later, those plans went out the window.
Apotheker might not be a high-tech visionary, but he recognized that it was tough to make money in the PC business because the margins were so tight. It’s especially tough when you create hundreds of different products and people can’t figure out what you sell. Look at the simplicity of Apple’s MacBook Pro laptop line. There are six basic models. That’s it. You can customize each one, of course, but you don’t have to deal with dozens of different models of basically the same laptop.
Now we have false bravado from HP’s senior vice president of Americas sales for HP’s printing and personal systems division, who would have us believe that something really special is coming, but he’s not saying what. You know, what? I’m not even remotely curious because chances are whatever HP produces will barely make a ripple in the tablet market when it’s released.
HP lacks even a modicum of tablet market leverage, and even though it might sound cruel, until HP actually produces a tablet that interests people, even a little, nobody cares at this point about whatever HP happens to have up its sleeve. The proof will be in the deliverable. Until then, excuse me while I yawn and snicker a little.
CNet and others were reporting today that we finally have a release date for the first Microsoft Surface tablets. And out of the gate, Microsoft is releasing the consumer models first. According to reports, the higher end models aimed at business will be released 90 days later.
The magic date is apparently October 26th unless something comes up to change that, and this is Microsoft after all. Something could come up.
Regardless, Microsoft’s best bet here is not a big holiday splash with consumers. Many others have taken a stab at that consumer market and failed. That’s why it should take a different tack from previous competitors and go after the enterprise market full bore. If it has any hope at all (and I don’t hold out much for either one to be honest), the enterprise is going to be its best bet.
That’s because there’s at least a slight opening in that market. Even with Apple finding its way into the enterprise, there are still plenty of IT pros who would be much more comfortable with employees having a Windows machine. Of course, that would assume that IT even has a say in the matter and it’s not clear that’s the case as more and more companies encourage employees to bring their own devices (BYOD).
But perhaps, some employees who primarily use Microsoft Office and Outlook and perhaps even SharePoint will find a Microsoft-centric enterprise tablet attractive. Perhaps. How many? Enough maybe to create a small market. It’s hard to know how Microsoft will define success in this space.
To cover its bases though, Microsoft announced two distinctly different tablets in June. One was a consumer model, running the ARM processor and Windows RT. The other was aimed at the enterprise running an Intel processor and Windows 8 Pro.
Meanwhile, there has been rampant speculation on Surface pricing with about as much to go on as your typical Apple rumor — in other words, not much. Per usual it hasn’t stopped technology journalists and bloggers from hotly debating about it.
Unless, Microsoft plans on pricing these below cost though, chances are the consumer model has to be in the $500 range. This much we have learned from the likes of the RIM Playbook and the HP TouchPad. We’ve also learned that the best price was the $99 HP fire sale price, which briefly made it the number two tablet in the world, but there’s not much chance that Microsoft plans to lose money on these babies.
You may recall I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of Microsoft getting into the tablet business. My first post on the matter, Microsoft’s Folly: Trying to Build a Combined PC and Post-PC Device, outlined my initial issues with the announced machines.
But even with my general skepticism about these devices, there appears to be a lot of anticipation about them. Of course, we’ve seen this pattern play out before, and we’ve watched as each new contender tried and failed miserably to dent iPads’ market dominance. I seriously doubt, Microsoft has the chops to do much damage, but in my view leading with the consumer product is not the way to maximize its market impact. Time will tell if I’m right.]]>
While people were mulling over Apple’s earnings numbers on Tuesday, one number in particular stuck out for me. Apple sold 17 million iPads in the quarter, an 84 percent increase over last year, but what’s more, they actually increased their already impressive worldwide market share.
According to numbers released by Strategy Analytics, last year in the second quarter, there were 14.2 million tablets sold worldwide. This year it was up to 25 million, an increase of 67 percent (a number that’s bound to increase as Google and Microsoft both join the tablet game this year). Last year, Apple owned 62 percent of the overall market. This year, that number increased 6 points to 68 percent.
Apple’s overall numbers almost doubled from last year from 9.3 million to 17 million units. It’s worth noting that Strategy Analytics measures what they call “units shipped,” rather than units sold, but the 17 million number they cite matches the number Apple reported selling in its earnings call.
As a means of comparison, Android tablet shipments (across all manufacturers) remained static at 29 percent. Microsoft captured just 1 percent of the total market, down 3.5 percent over last year, but with Windows 8 coming later this year, that should move the needle at least a bit for them, at least it better.
Yet in spite of these numbers, the market appears to be very much wide open. Google reportedly sold out very quickly of the 16 GB Nexus 7 tablet. When I checked the web site this morning, there were still 8 GB units available. Of course, it could be that Google only shipped a small number so it wouldn’t face the same overproduction that crippled RIM and HP last year when they released their ill-fated tablets — and quickly forced HP into a fire sale, selling them off at a steep loss for $99.
While the Nexus 7 appears to compete more with the Kindle Fire than the iPad, the market share numbers will probably never make that distinction. I doubt very much people will use the Fire or the Nexus 7 for work machines, whereas iPad has made good headway in the enterprise. It’s also worth noting that when the Kindle Fire first appeared on the market, it too benefited from an initial boost before sales fell quickly back to earth.
But Amazon isn’t giving up yet. There are reportedly new Kindles on the way including a 10 inch one, which could compete more directly with iPad (at least in theory). In fact, The Wall Street Journal has an article this morning about the growing Amazon-Apple “war” as they call it, as the two companies increasingly compete on common territory. So far at least, except for eBooks, which is of course Amazon’s sweet spot, it appears that Apple is winning most of the battles easily.
Which brings us to Windows 8, the great enterprise hope. Microsoft is banking on an enterprise hungry for a business-oriented device, but is there a waiting market? Some believe there is. Appcelerator, in conjunction with IDC, recently released a report on the state of the tablet market. According to the report, “Android’s inability to fully develop its enormous enterprise potential as late as mid-year 2012 underscores its potential vulnerabilities in the enterprise.” Appcelerator believes this could leave an opening for Microsoft, but it’s still unclear if Microsoft can take full advantage of this opportunity.
For now, in the tablet market, it’s all Apple, all the time. Up to this point, Apple has been able to maintain its market share each time the competition seems to heat up. This year will be even more challenging than ever as the opposition continues to push for its share of this growing and lucrative market. Should be interesting to check the numbers a year from now and see if Microsoft, Amazon and Google made any headway.
Photo by Yutaka Tsutano on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.]]>
I believe in the power of competition. It drives companies to develop and change and when companies compete in a level marketplace, then consumers win. That’s why I love the competition going on in the tablet space these days.
While I haven’t made it a secret that I think Microsoft and Google’s forays into the tablet market are misguided (to say the least), I still believe that their entry will have an impact on Apple and Amazon and Samsung and all of the other tablet manufacturers because they will try things to differentiate themselves from one another, and when they do that, they will force their competitors to pay attention and to rethink their approaches.
It’s good for the market and it’s great for consumers. I’ve been writing about technology for a number of years now and I’ve watched as Microsoft, Google and Apple fight the big fight, scratching and clawing at one another, constantly trying to get an advantage, to find the upper hand to force us all to use their products exclusively.
Consumers tend to fight that though. I had a conversation on Twitter the other day where one person was suggesting that SMBs would like a one-stop shop cloud vendor with software, platform and infrastructure services all from the same vendor. I argued that this was neither necessary or desirable for any business to tie itself to a single vendor.
I use a lot of Apple products, but I use products from Microsoft and Google. I use Facebook and I buy stuff on Amazon (a lot). No one vendor gives me everything I need, and though they may try to take shots at one another’s strengths, it usually doesn’t work. Think about the Zune or Ping if you doubt me.
But even these failures fuel the competitive fires across these different companies. Although Bing for example has failed to gain substantial market share from Google in search, it has driven Google to try new things. It’s all part of what happens when companies compete.
Microsoft tried very hard to get the world to use Windows and while they have some great marketshare, they don’t control the market. Apple is highly successful, but it can’t do what Google, Facebook or Amazon does (even though it has the iTunes store).
So let the tablet competition begn. Go at it, you big technology titans and drive one another to innovate and change and develop. I still don’t believe any of this will have a serious impact on Apple’s tablet marketshare, but I do believe it will force Apple to look at everything it does, just as competition in the search space forces Google to do the same.
Every time I write something comparing iOS and Android, it becomes this intense argument, but it doesn’t have to be that way if we look at this as healthy competition. Because both operating systems exist and compete against one another, we all win.
So let the clash continue. Bring on your tablets and let’s see what you’ve got and the impact of your moves on your competitors. I can’t wait.
Photo by incredibleguy on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.]]>
For starters, he marveled at the iPad’s popularity, not only in pure numbers, but across markets. He discussed how it appealed to consumers, businesses and students — and across all age groups too.
He also talked about the differences between the PC and the tablet, and the way to surface those differences was to lose the idea of thinking of it as a legacy PC device. As Paul Martiz, CEO at VMware stated last week in his EMC World keynote address, the idea of the original PC market was to automate the office of the 1970s.
As he pointed out, the entire PC metaphor mirrors that office from the desktop to files and folders to in-boxes and trash cans. He also indicated that metaphor has been carried out about as far as it can go, and that today’s new workers can no longer relate to the same type of approach, since they haven’t grown up with that office.
Cook said it would be a mistake to encumber the tablet with the legacy of the PC, and although he and Maritz weren’t speaking of exactly the same thing, the ideas are very similar. For Cook, the tablet comes to life when you take advantage of it as more than a keyboardless laptop.
And this is true. When you try to use the tablet as a laptop, I’ve found it doesn’t work all that well. I’ve connected a bluetooth keyboard for instance, because it’s hard to type quickly on the touch keyboard that is available on the iPad.
But that’s because if you’re typing in the conventional writing fashion, you’re probably not taking advantage of the strengths of the touch device. Cook said he believed that tablets would eventually surpass PCs in usage, a true post-PC era (although he didn’t use that term).
But I believe because the two devices have distinct strengths, they will continue to live side by side for some time into the future. That said, I’m continually surprised when I got to conferences, how many Apple products I see, and in particular how many folks are carrying an iPad as a primary device to take notes and even write.
People often throw around the word transformational these days, but Cook is right that the tablet has truly transformed the way we interact with devices and what we expect from devices.
I like to tell the story of a friend who showed his then three year old the first iPad. The child was instantly mesmerized by it and totally got it right away. What’s more, he then believed the whole world should be a touch screen and began touch other things like the TV and expect the same results.
I’ve done the same thing with my ATM, expecting it to be a touch screen, when it required I push the mechanical buttons.
Cook acknowledged that it was still early days for the tablet market, but it’s clear that Apple has a big head start. It’s also clear, that as his former boss once said, it’s much more than a keyboardless laptop — and people in the business trying to take away a slice of Apple’s marketshare would be wise to realize that.
Photo by sidduz on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.]]>
And the Android tablet market just got a lot more interesting today, because as you might have heard by now, Microsoft invested a hefty $300 million in Nook today. This is delicious on so many levels it’s so hard to know where to begin.
First of all, in case you didn’t realize, Nook is an Android tablet. That’s right underneath that e-Ink screen beats the heart of a Google Android operating system (even though most users won’t ever know or care). In fact, you can even hack it if you were so inclined. But the fact that it’s running *Google’s* OS and Microsoft just invested $300 million of its money, well it’s hard not to love that.
If that’s not enough to whet your appetite consider that Microsoft had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Barnes and Noble last year. With the influx of cash, of course, they have kissed and made up and all is forgiven and forgotten. The lawsuit is moot. How convenient — a bushel of cash and you make your legal troubles disappear. B&N executives must be doing a happy dance all over the C-Suite this morning.
Of course with large cash infusions comes the inevitable quid-pro-quo and for B&N they have to develop tools for the upcoming Windows tablets. There is also speculation already that a future version of the Nook Color could be running Windows 8? Who knows?
Last I checked it didn’t cost B&N anything to use Android. It probably would require a complete overhaul of the hardware to make it compatible with Windows 8, but Microsoft probably didn’t invest that kind of money for nothing, and it might want a slice of the market that right now is dominated by Apple, while the minuscule share of Android tablet marketshare is dominated by Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
So Microsoft gets to take on all kinds of enemies for a few hundred million dollars. It take on the hated Apple, the dreaded Google and the latest of enemies, the frightening Amazon content juggernaut and its disgustingly cheap little content-serving device, the Kindle Fire.
For now though, in the tablet market, its Apple’s world and everyone else is just on the outside looking in. In the Android market, however, in just a few months, the Kindle Fire has grabbed an astonishing 54.4 percent of market share for the February 11th figures, up from 29.4 percent on December 11th. The next closest competitor, the Samsung Galaxy Tabs had 23.8 percent on December 11th and slipped to 15.4 percent in the latest numbers from February 11th.
Perhaps that’s why Microsoft felt compelled to use its substantial cash holdings to put its own stake in the game. Windows tablets are going to face a tough market dominated by Apple on one side and increasingly by Kindle Fire in the Android marketplace, Perhaps, by investing in the Nook, Microsoft hopes to rock the boat a bit and gets its own share of the consumer tablet market.
It’s low-risk strategy that at least provides a starting point for an OS that’s going to be 3 years late to market — and it is going to need to do something dramatic to get consumer’s attention.
Note: I sent an email to comScore press relations asking for clarification on the Nook market share numbers — if they were excluded because they didn’t fall within comScore’s definition of the tablet market or because they didn’t register enough market share. I did not receive a response by the time I published this, but I will update the story if I hear back.
Image courtesy of Microsoft Press.]]>