Apple dominates Chinese tablet market

10 August 2012

BEIJING: Apple is tightening its grip on China's rapidly-growing tablet market, where the iPad now takes more than 70% of sales, a report has shown.

Analysys International, the research group, estimated that 2.3m tablets were purchased in China during the second quarter of 2012, a 7.8% expansion quarter on quarter, and a 63.4% leap year on year.

Apple's iPad, the third-generation version of which became available in China last month, took  72.7% of category sales between April and June.

This constituted an improvement of 20.1% on the figure recorded in the opening three months of the year. Apple also recently paid Proview Shenzhen, a local firm, $60m to settle a dispute regarding ownership of the iPad trademark in China.

"We've been very focused ... on China, because we see it as an enormous opportunity for us," Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said on a conference call with analysts in July.

"I firmly believe that people in the emerging markets want great products like they do in developed markets. And so we're going to stick to our knitting and make the best products. And we think that if we do that, we've got a very, very good business ahead of us."

According to Analysys International, Lenovo, one of China's premier IT companies, yielded 8.4% of sales in Q2. It came in easily ahead of eBen eRen on 3.6%, which is especially popular with business users.

Samsung, by contrast, saw its total proportion of sales decline by 7.7% on a quarterly basis, to just under 3.6%, only marginally ahead of Acer.

Asus posted 3.3%, while Teclast logged 1.9%, falling to around apiece 0.3% for Aiguo and Motorola, indicating that the market is somewhat concentrated.

In further evidence of this trend, Apple's current market share almost exactly matched the 72.5% it held for the whole of last year, versus Lenovo's 4.7% and Samsung's 4.6%, Analysys International stated.

Analysys International suggested that most players in this category have focused on consumer education in ads and marketing, and moved "too slowly" when it comes to emphasising their own brands.

Looking forward, it recommended that manufacturers "consider their own product positioning" and unique selling points, in order to escape the "homogenisation" of the sector.

Data sourced from Tech in Asia, DigiTimes, Analysys International; additional content by Warc staff