Android tablets seen as "quality" alternative to iPad

Most UK consumers still own or want an iPad, but rivals are catching up in mindshare and market share

Shona Ghosh
18 Apr 2013

Apple may be set to lose its dominance at the high end of the tablet market, at least in the UK, with more consumers viewing the Nexus 7, the Kindle Fire and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab as "quality" alternatives.

A survey from YouGov found UK tablet owners awarded their Android devices a "near-equal" quality score to the iPad. Some actually awarded the Nexus 7 a higher score than its rivals, with the exception of the iPad mini.

Released in the UK in October last year, the iPad mini garnered the highest satisfaction and quality ratings of any tablet, suggesting Apple still has room to beat its growing competition at the low-end of the market.

But the survey also showed that high-end Android tablets are increasingly capturing consumer attention after several years of Apple dominance.

Unsurprisingly, the growing range of cheaper, viable alternatives meant Apple’s share of the UK tablet market fell ten percentage points to 63%. The iPad mini accounts for 4% of that total.

YouGov chart

That leaves second-placed Samsung in the dust at 10%, but both the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 have made impressive gains. Launched in July, the Nexus 7 already commands 8% of the market, ahead of the Kindle Fire.

Amazon’s device, launched in October in time for Christmas, holds 5% of the market. Collectively, the three manufacturers hold 23% of the UK's tablet market versus Apple's 63%. YouGov predicted further gains for Samsung, Google and Amazon in the coming year at Apple’s expense.

"With a growing market, greater competition and falling prices, Apple was bound to lose some share," said YouGov’s technology and telecoms consulting director, John Gilbert. "However, it is not simply a matter of inexpensive products flooding the market. It seems that Apple no longer has a monopoly on the 'premium' share as other brands emerge with near-equal satisfaction scores."

YouGov said it surveyed more than 3,500 tablet and non-tablet owners in the UK.

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