iPad - statistics and facts
by Felix Richter
The iPad is a tablet computer designed by Apple
. It was unveiled in January 2010 by then-CEO Steve Jobs and became available to the public three months later. In contrast to earlier tablet PCs, the iPad was marketed as a consumer device that would fill the gap between smartphones
and laptop computers and revolutionize the way we consume media. The iPad is closely related to Appleís iPhone
and iPod Touch, as it uses the same operating system and multi-touch user interface. Like its smaller relatives, the iPad is open to third-party applications that can be purchased and downloaded in Appleís well-established App Store
Although initially received with scepticism, the iPad became an instant hit upon its release in April 2010: in less than three months, Apple sold 3.27 million iPads
and went on to sell almost 20 million units in its first year on the market. Competitors rushed into the market with their own tablet PCs but thus far none have been able to replicate the iPadís success. To add to the competitionís woes, Apple introduced an improved iPad 2 in March 2011 before competitors had even caught up with the original iPad. Major companies such as HP and Blackberry-maker RIM saw their tablet efforts gloriously fail, with the formerís Touchpad discontinued just weeks after its launch in June 2011. As a consequence, Apple has continued to dominate the tablet market through 2011 with a market share
of 58 percent in the fourth quarter.
In September 2011, Amazon
introduced the Kindle Fire, an Android
-based multimedia tablet closely integrated with Amazonís content ecosystem. The Kindle Fire is technically inferior to the iPad but it is priced very aggressively: at $199 it is less than half the price of the cheapest iPad 2. Although early reviews weren't great, demand for the Kindle Fire turned out strong and Amazon reportedly sold millions of the device in its first weeks on the market. To deal with cheaper competitors, Apple decided to lower the price of the iPad 2 when it released the new iPad in March 2012. This strategy has already proven successful in the smartphone market
and it could prove to be a smart move for Apple's tablet
strategy as well.
The outlook for the tablet market is very positive with analysts predicting that the market will continue to grow in the next few years: research firm Gartner expects tablet sales to grow from 63.64 million units in 2011 to 326.3 million in 2015