With Amazon announcing their earnings and the buzz around the Amazon tablet, Andrew Eisner, Retrevo.com Director of Community and Content, looks at the tablet market and what customers are interested in.
If Amazon does, in fact, enter the tablet market with a low cost Android tablet this fall they might be able to change the playing field to a lower margin one where Apple would be less able to compete. Could a low cost Amazon Android tablet present one of the first serious contenders to the iPad? Based on the latest Retrevo Pulse Report, it appears that consumers are ready to buy a low cost tablet and are very keen on one from Amazon.
– Consumers Want a Less Expensive Tablet
Every time Retrevo asks consumers what would get them to buy a tablet, low price comes out on top of the list. In the most recent study, almost half (48%) of respondents said that $300 was the price point that would get them to consider an Android tablet over an iPad. Apple has traditionally been able to command a price premium for quality devices but if someone like Amazon who thrives on low margins can move the playing field, Apple may find it harder to command high prices. Despite the fact that Apple makes a lot of money on companion products like apps, music, and software, Amazon may be in a better position to sacrifice a high profit margin on a tablet or razor in return for revenue from razor blades like books, music, videos and apps. There’s even an Amazon App Store whose name Apple was recently unable to convince a judge to get them to stop using.
– Amazon’s Strong Brand Could Help Them Sell Tablets
Amazon has not made a big secret of the fact that it plans on entering the tablet market most likely with a competitively priced Android tablet appearing early this fall. Could Amazon be Android’s knight in shining armor that could help Android create a stronger presence in the tablet market? When the study asked consumers which manufacturer they would most likely buy a tablet from, we were surprised to see a high percentage of potential tablet buyers putting Amazon (55%) at the top of their list. We’re not positive that some respondents didn’t confuse Amazon the manufacturer (Kindle) and Amazon the reseller but in any case it looks likely that consumers prefer an Amazon branded tablet over ones from more established tablet manufacturers like Samsung and Motorola.
– There’s Still Hope for an iPad Competitor
Despite the fact that the Apple iPad continues to dominate the market it appears more consumers are willing to consider an Android tablet and many more are undecided. When this Retrevo Pulse study asked consumers about buying a tablet this year half as many said they were planning on buying an Android tablet as an iPad with half again indicating some other tablet.
– Going to Be an Interesting Season for Tablets
The latest rumor out of Cupertino says we might see a widescreen high resolution iPad possibly called the iPad HD sometime this fall. With a high resolution display showing up second (28%) on the list of important tablet features (behind price) if Apple bumps up the resolution in the next generation iPad it could continue to lead the market. Furthermore, as Apple continues to improve the hardware and the number of native iPad apps greatly exceeds the number of native Android tablet apps, even a new low cost tablet might not be enough to diminish Apple’s dominance in the tablet market however, if anyone appears to have a chance at knocking Apple off the tablet hill, Amazon with a low cost Android tablet, might just be the right contender.
1. Retrevo Asked: Which of these manufacturers would you seriously consider buying a tablet from?
– 55% said Amazon
– 38% said Dell
– 38% said Samsung
– 31% said Motorola
– 31% said HP
– 24% said RIM
– 21% said Barnes & Noble
2. iPad Vs. Android – Retrevo Asked: Would you consider buying an Android tablet with similar features over a base model $499 iPad?
– 79% of people would if it cost less than $250
– 48% of people would if it cost less than $300
– 31% of people would if it cost less than $400
3. What are people planning to buy? Of people planning on buying a tablet this year:
– 50% said they were planning on buying an iPad
– 21% said they were planning on buying an Android Tablet
– 10% said they were planning on buying some other kind of tablet
– 19% said they were planning on buying more than one of these choices
4. Features – Of people buying tablets, the feature that they found “most important” in the next tablet they buy was:
48% Said low price
28% Said high resolution display
20% Said better input features like keyboards, speech recognition, etc.
About The Retrevo’s Pulse report
The Retrevo Pulse is an ongoing study of tech industry trends conducted for the consumer electronics shopping and review site, Retrevo.com. The data for this report came from a study of online individuals conducted exclusively for Retrevo in June of 2011, by an independent panel. The sample size was over 1,000 distributed across gender, age, income and location in the United States. Most responses have a confidence interval of 4% at a 95% confidence level.