September 19th, 2011
06:25 AM GMT
Hong Kong (CNN) – When you think of buying a tablet computer, what brand comes to mind?
Well, if a soft-white, backlit Apple logo popped into your noggin, you wouldn’t be alone. In fact, a recent consumer survey shows a whopping 85% of consumers first think of the Cupertino-based company before other competitors.
Just 4% of consumers surveyed first envisioned Samsung’s Galaxy in their hand, according to a survey from Change Wave Research. A mere 2% first imagined buying RIM’s Playbook over other brands.
When comparing operating systems, nearly seven of every 10 tablets sold between April and June of this year were Apple iPads, according to IDC, a London-based research firm. In percentage terms, that was a rise from 65.7% in the first quarter to 68.3% in the second quarter.
Android saw its share of the industry pie dwindle from 34% to 26.8% in the same time frame. IDC forecasts this slice to shrink even further in the third quarter.
Research in Motion carved out a 4.9% market share in the second quarter. It’s still got a ways to grow – or wither. RIM’s Playbook only debuted in mid-April.
But as new players have tried to take on Apple’s dominance, others have started to take their products off the shelves.
Just last week, Sharp was the latest company to take an axe to its tablet line.
The Japanese electronics maker announced it plans to halt production of two of its three Galapagos tabs – the 10.8-inch and the 5.5-inch – by the end of the month. They’ll keep the 7-inch, for now.
The wipeout of Galapagos, critics say, had to do with Sharp’s usage of its own operating system which made it tougher for app developers to create content. And the Galapagos line only launched last December.
CNN contacted Sharp for comment. A public relations representative said they plan to make new models in the future, but didn’t say what and when.
Sharp’s surrender follows a similar announcement from HP in August. The decision there: to stop all production of its Touchpad tablets.
And yet, in its report last week, IDC forecast that tablets would grow to 17.5% of the entire personal computer market in 2011.
Clearly that growth doesn’t equate to any equal spreading of wealth among companies. In fact, there seems to be more of just one kind of fruit at the tablet market: Apple.
A note to rival companies: don’t raise the white flag. There’s still more room for rivals in the tablet wars and not everyone wants an Apple.
For every hard-core Apple fanatic, there’s a “Fandroid” that’s willing to throw a smug comment the other way. If Apple rivals give consumers something more cool, more delicious and less expensive, more people just might bite.
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