Apple tablet dominance knocked in UK market -

The world and its knackered old dog are preparing their own tablet offerings, with an interesting trend surfacing - software vendors going into hardware for the first time - and that is, inevitably, going to knock Apple's dominance.

According to a YouGov survey, the tablet market in the UK grew enough that nearly 10 percent of the entire population owned one. Of those, more than 70 percent were iPads, and the creatively named New iPad accounted for 11 percent.

That said, the survey revealed Apple's overall share dropped four percentage points from the previous quarter, thanks largely to competition from Samsung - itself enjoying a 7 percent market share. Samsung devices, YouGov said, are beating Apple in certain performance scores, namely in sturdiness and in reliability.

Half of current tablet owners, the majority of those surely iPad owners, are thinking about switching devices, particularly as price factors in as a major concern for iPad owners in particular.

YouGov's consulting director for technology and telecoms, John Gilbert, said that the trend is no great surprise. According to Gilbert, there is no brand on earth that can sustain 90 percent plus market share in an emerging device market. As the older and most financially secure generation is picking up tablets, usually spending over £400, the lucrative market is too enticing to ignore for the competition.

Gilbert said that Apple set the standard for tablet quality, but Samsung and others are either close to matching or exceeding Cupertino on the price point. "As the tablet market taps into the early and late majority technology users," Gilbert said, "Apple may expect a declining share in a growing market".

As we wrote at ChannelBiz UK, there is plenty of opportunity for vendors and even more so for the contract manufacturers building the products.