Consumer tablet interest is huge for the holidays, so who are the winners?

Consumer tablet interest is huge for the holidays, so who are the winners?
A new survey has come out trying to figure out what tablet people are intending to buy this holiday season, and while some of the information is pretty easy to guess (the Apple iPad is the most popular tablet on the list), there were some surprises when it came to the Microsoft Surface and Google Nexus 7. The biggest surprise was that consumer interest in the Microsoft Surface dropped 53% after the price announcement, but Microsoft's tablet still had more interest than the Nexus 7.

The survey was performed by Parks Associates, first to find consumer interest in holiday tech purchases in Q3 of 2012, then again more recently. Not surprisingly, the Apple iPad was the top device with about 44% of consumers intending to purchase an iPad during both sessions of the survey. What is surprising is that in Q3, the Microsoft Surface also had about 44% of consumer interest, then a few things happened: Microsoft announced the price of the Surface, the Google Nexus 7 started gaining attention, and Amazon announced a new line of Kindle Fire tablets. After all of that, interest in the Microsoft Surface dropped to around 21%, just behind the Kindle Fire, which was at 24%. And, the Google Nexus 7, which didn't even register on the Q3 survey, rounded out the Q4 numbers with about 12% of consumer interest. 

Of course, as with most surveys, we have some questions about the data. First, are all 3 Kindle Fire tablets counted under the same heading? Because there is only one listing there. Similarly, it doesn't seem as though the Google Nexus 10 was part of the survey, and the graph oddly shows the Apple listing as the "iPad 2", but it seems that includes the iPad 4 as well. Then, the big question is: what's the correlation between intent to purchase, and the actual act of purchasing? So far, projections are mixed on the sales of the Microsoft Surface, but given how many retail stores carry the Surface, the sales do not seem to match the survey's results for intent between the Surface and the Nexus 7. The Nexus 7 has been projected to sell 1 million units in December alone, while it's unclear if the Surface will get to that number for the entirety of Q4. 

It's no surprise that the iPad has the top spot, because for better or worse, it is still seen as the de facto purchase choice for a tablet by most media outlets and casual consumers. The more a consumer knows about the options, the more likely that price and feature set will become a factor, which then skews the choice towards the Nexus line. Of course, the Nexus line also doesn't get the same amount of in-store visibility that other tablets do; and, given that fact, having 12% of consumer interest is actually quite impressive. 

The survey had other interesting findings like the fact that for the first time, more U.S. broadband households plan to purchase a tablet during the holidays than a laptop, netbook or Ultrabook. This seems reasonable, especially with the rise of inexpensive tablet options like the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, and iPad mini. In that vein, when the Apple iPad mini was added to the survey, 40% of those who had said they planned to buy an iPad changed their minds and said they would go for the lower cost iPad mini instead. Also, 33% of U.S. broadband households now own a tablet, and that number is expected to double to 66% by 2013. 

That means a lot of tablet sales over the next couple of weeks. It should be very interesting to see the Q4 earnings calls when they roll around next year. 



46. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Android and Amazon will be the winners in the long term as households typically have 2-3 kids and at least 1 parent and maybe another relative/friend living with them - they all want, doi you spend 400.00 or more on ipads (each)? Or do you spend 200 for the Amazon/Android tablets per person? Money talks....

41. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Folks the Microsoft surface RT's price will drop in the future because new things are coming from Microsoft but for now if Microsoft dropped the price of it 100 dollars it would be a hit. they have just given it update to improves it's performance and WIFI issue so Folks Microsoft is keeping their word about supporting this Product

17. nyamo

Posts: 274; Member since: Mar 19, 2011

i wonder if enough consumers are holding out for w8 pro tabs to hit the market before they jump ship

42. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

it appears to be that you may be right about the Microsoft Surface Pro being a hit when it comes out because it can run thousands upon thousands of full Windows PC Desktop/Laptop Business, Games, Educational and Internet based sites for information, commerce, entertainment, and shows Flash video which are banned from being seen in the Ipads. plus it has the New Windows 8 apps store with it's unique tile apps.. it will not be for everyone because to use old Windows 7, Vista, XP, windows 2000 and other windows programs that were not designed to be used on a touch screen a person has to use a mouse and keyboard to more easily use them. People who are used to using tablets like a Ipad or Android tablets with their touch screen only apps might not be comfortable with switching back and forth from touch screen apps to mouse and key board programs

8. MeoCao unregistered

I read too many times that MS winning the rumor war. But they alway lose the sales war.

11. wendygarett unregistered

I don't understand why you hate ms so much :(

14. MeoCao unregistered

is what I say true, if yes then it doesn't matter I hate some1 or not. But frankly I hate monopolies: MS, Apple, Intel you name it.

16. wendygarett unregistered

The android is already the monopoly now, what's your point? These are all business dude...

18. MeoCao unregistered

Android is not monopoly b-c it's open source. Any1 can make something else from Android, but can they do the same with Windows or iOS? I guess u r young and don't understand the bad things that monopoly brings. It's business, you bet. but do you know it's bad when some big players come together and agree on prices? That's business too, right? It's in fact called price fixing and if caught those companies can be fined heavily. If you a a monopoly you can raise price almost at will w/o any punishment at all.

27. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

android is a monopoly. they don't make money on their services but they make money on adds. having a free platform and services is just a strategy to spread their adds everywhere.

29. MeoCao unregistered

You mean Google advertising business? Google is very strong but I don't think they are monopoly. You have FaceBook, Twitter, Yahoo, MS and many others all are doing pretty well. Google is using Android as a means to deliver their service does not mean Android is monopoly. I guess you should think again what monopoly is.

25. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Actually, none of those are monopolies. Microsoft had monopoly power in the PC world, but that was killed by splitting Windows from the rest of Microsoft. Apple may technically have a monopoly in MP3 players, but that's like saying Sony has a monopoly in Laserdiscs. MP3 players have been replaced. Intel had a monopoly in the PC market, then AMD broke that up a bit, and now with the surge in mobile tech, Intel is actually quite far behind. Android is not a monopoly, because it only has about half of the install base in the US.

26. MeoCao unregistered

Windows split from MS, hell no. where do you get it from?

32. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Sorry, mixed up my history. There was a threat to split Microsoft into Windows and non-Windows development, but the ruling was overturned. But, that still lead to Microsoft unofficially having to split things up, so Office couldn't be baked-in to Windows and it has to have the web browser choice option in Europe and things like that.

35. MeoCao unregistered

I see, so MS stays monopoly. I remember Word Perfect, Lotus 123, very good software but they just couldn't compete with MS b-c MS controled the OS and we were left with Office w/o competition until open source movement, but it was too late. And do you remember Netscape and many other great ideas were killed or robbed by MS? And IDK if you are aware of MS punitve pricing practice to fend off Linux? I think too much relying on monopolistic position has corrupted MS. The same can be said about Intel with lesser extend as Intel still has to compete with AMD. Both MS and Intel are a convicted offenders of abusing their monopolistic power. I know MS and Intel is far from monopoly in mobile and I wanted MS to be viable option to Apple and Android but MS ability and tactics just put me off. I agree with you that Apple is not monopoly now but they tried to be and there's not much love for Apple in this forum I guess.

38. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Microsoft is not a monopoly. It was a monopoly, but isn't anymore. Simple as that. There are plenty of competitors to Office, like OpenOffice, iWork, Google Docs, Libre Office, etc. Netscape became Mozilla, which made Firefox, which is now beating IE. And, as I said, with the traditional PC market going down, so is Intel. Nowadays, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Samsung, hold more power in processors than Intel. Anyway, I still think that Windows will becoming the third option, and may even overtake Apple at some point in mobile.

39. MeoCao unregistered

I want to ask you 2 questions: 1. What is Windows competing with? 2. What is Office competing with?

40. MeoCao unregistered

You said Office has to compete with Open Office and the likes but the truth is b-c MS controls the whole ecosystem those alternatives never have a chance, you have some product does not mean you can sell, that's the hard truth. It was regrettable that Office was not forced to be an independent company, then there is may be some level playing field for all players. Now about Netscape, It was the pioneer in web browser but MS killed it easily by using the power of Windows, that should never have happened. Then we have IE and all people now how terrible it was but it dominated the market until Google's Chrome with different business model.

44. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Yes Microsoft used its power to crush competition in the past, and yes that still has effects on the market today, but that doesn't mean that Microsoft is still a monopoly and is still actively trying to crush companies. There are Office competitors. Netscape didn't go under, it was bought by AOL and the owners cashed out to create Mozilla, which is doing just fine against IE. What about Google using its power? Google uses its ad revenue to subsidise other projects, which it can then give away for free. You think no companies went under when Google started giving away Google Maps? Sure, Google's disruptions end up being good for us, so we don't complain, but its still hurting other companies.

45. MeoCao unregistered

I think we first have to agree about definition of monopoly. According to most dictionaries - monopoly is CONTROL by 1 company of the market, Monopoly does not mean LACK of competition. I would like to know how you define monopoly?

48. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Control is different than success. Monopoly is EXCLUSIVE CONTROL of a product or service, which is very different from having the most popular product. Google may have 90% of the search market, and Microsoft has 90% of the desktop OS and Office suite markets, that doesn't mean the companies have total control of the markets. It's extremely easy for consumers to use alternative search engines, desktop OSes, or Office suites, but they continue to go to Google and Microsoft. They aren't being forced to. The competition isn't being destroyed (in fact both have been losing market share). One could argue that Microsoft is really competing against itself at this point, because people may have bought MS products before, but they don't upgrade often at all. Windows 7 just overtook Windows XP in August, and MS isn't making money on XP anymore. XP still holds about 40% of the market, and no one is buying new XP licenses. That's not control of a market. That's barely success.

54. MeoCao unregistered

May I ask: What is "EXCLUSIVE CONTROL"? why MS Office does not have EXCLUSIVE CONTROL? why MS Windows does not have EXCLUSIVE CONTROL?

55. MeoCao unregistered

As I understand by EXCLUSIVE CONTROL you mean total lack of competition, and that a unreal situation. Standard Oil, or AT&T did they have EXCLUSIVE CONTROL? I don't think so. CONTROL means ability of setting prices and MS can. MS used that power to punish those OEM who use Linux. Google does not have ability to determine prices, may be later but not now. As far as I know the cost per click of online advertising is going down b-c of fierce competition. Such thing never happens in the PC empire of MS.

30. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

There is no monopoly, only Zuul!

53. .MISTER.H.

Posts: 11; Member since: Dec 14, 2012

Count me in to, hate WP7, 8 .....™

5. imkyle

Posts: 1117; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Funny most people still want the iPad 2.

7. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

See comment #6

4. parkwaydr

Posts: 572; Member since: Sep 07, 2011

IPad and nexus 7/10 will probably sell the most. Kindle fire will get some decent sales. Im sure win8 tabs will sell, just not the surface.

3. snail3

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 12, 2012

I dont see ipad3, 4 and mini on the chart?

6. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Yeah, that graph label was odd, but it seems that both the iPad 2 & 4 are part of that same listing.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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