Open e-mail to CBC: Apple Does Not Control 70% of the Tablet Market

Today, at 8:35 CT, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) broadcast the “news” that Apple controlled 70% of the tablet market. On-line, they report 63%.

The facts are otherwise:

  • in their SEC filing for Q4 2011, Apple report 15.433 million iPads shipped, 111% above the previous year in the same quarter,
  • DisplaySearch reports 31.7 million tablets shipped in Q4 2011
  • Apple’s share of tablet shipments is 15.433/31.7X100 = 48.7%

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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19 Responses to Open e-mail to CBC: Apple Does Not Control 70% of the Tablet Market

  1. Clarence Moon says:

    Well, sure, Mr. Pogson. And the families with high earners will buy iPads as they have been doing for some time now. A cheap tablet may be more affordable, but not nearly as desirable. That may make them sell poorly since the buyer has no interest in them, regardless of being able to better afford them.

  2. It is not typical for all members of a family to be at the peak of their employment income. Families don’t usually sell their children for top dollar… Income is not spread like that. Some families will have two or more high-income members while others will be starving. FLOSS on ARM is more affordable by more families.

  3. Clarence Moon says:


    $11.8K per capita is $48K per family of 4 and that puts them into a range where they could probably dispose of $500 for an iPad, I think. In any case, at 60-70 million units a year, we are only dealing with about 1% of the world’s population and the income of the top 1% is surely adequate to cover the price of an iPad.

    A more pertinent question is whether that well-heeled buyer is more interested in appearing urbane and sophisticated by choosing the Apple product or is more concerned about absolute value. I think that most of the time, the former is the case.

  4. gewg_ says:

    @Pogson (meta)
    SEC filing for Q4 2011
    Double-check that link.

  5. oldman says:

    “Do you believe a person with cash-flow of $11.8K is more likely to buy a $150 tablet or a $500 iPad? ”

    Neither. For someone in those straights, I would imagine keeping body and soul together is far more important.

  6. oldman says:

    Mr. K Said

    @oldman yip, yip, yap, yap, yip….


    Yap, yip, good.

  7. kozmcrae says:

    @ldman said:

    “Meanwhile I have had 32 bit windows 7 install without a hitch.”

    And that’s a day you’ll never see again.

    @ldman said:

    “Its not fun Pog to have to search for the solution to a problem only to discover that it only applies to a distro that you dont have.”

    And so? What’s the problem with that. It would be a major problem if you were using Windows and had to install another version. That’s a royal pain in the ass and no one would argue otherwise.

    If it’s GNU/Linux and the “problem” is with your particular distro and the only solution is to install another distro then you’ve just blown a half hour. Your home partition is intact. I’ve done this a few times, though not because of any “problems”.

    Windows is a pain to install and so @ldman would like us to believe that GNU/Linux is also a pain to install. It is not.

    Go read the Windows 7 Ultimate Edition EULA @ldman. It will do you good.

  8. Apple is selling stuff at $500+. The market for $200 and less is far greater in units than the market Apple pursues. According to the CIA, world GDP per capita was $11.8K. Do you believe a person with cash-flow of $11.8K is more likely to buy a $150 tablet or a $500 iPad? That’s half the world. Many countries have less than half that GDP per capita. GDP per capita for China, the largest country in the world is $8.4K. Apple has 5 stores in China.

  9. Clarence Moon says:

    Android/Linux’s potential market is several times the size of Apple’s

    There is no evidence of that, but if it were true, so what? Can Apple make a profit with the market that it has? Demonstrably yes, even emphatically yes.

    Can the many small suppliers of unbranded Android tablet gizmos in China make a profit chasing prices down to next to nothing? Doubtful, but, again, who cares?

    but it’s a gimmick as far as I am concerned.

    Of course it is a gimmick. From some point of view, just about everything to do with personal computer consumption beyond very minimal performance is a gimmick. The differences between a Yaris and a Rolls-Royce are just gimmicks if all you need is to transport a single individual a few miles to the grocery and return.

    Maslow wrote a book on the subject, as I remember.

  10. The most common resolution for monitors was 1024×768 for a decade or so. Now it’s 1366×768, according to Clearly, Apple’s higher resolution on a tablet is just eye-candy and not an essential feature. The monitor I use is 1600×900 and it’s perfectly adequate for my poor old eyes. Perhaps younger people find the higher resolution useful but it’s a gimmick as far as I am concerned.

  11. Phenom says:

    News about iPad 3 just come around, and the biggest feature for me is the display: 2048Ñ…1536. This means great image quality, and I bet that it will take the competition at least an year before something like this is available on the retail market at a competitive price.

  12. oldman wrote, “The people who pay for iPads and/or Android tablets in the iPad price range are the ones calling the tune with their money.”

    Nope. That’s not how it works, oldman. Apple calls the shots and its sheeple dance. The flock is rather small compared to the potential market for small cheap computers. A while back, I checked and Apple had only a few stores in all of China. Folks are not going to wait around for Apple to meet their needs and will move on with Android/Linux etc. Apple is totally uninterested in selling small cheap computers which the world wants. Android/Linux’s potential market is several times the size of Apple’s.

  13. Ivan says:

    “A lot of those things are stuff we don’t need.”

    Everyone needs a faster network capability, Bob.

  14. oldman says:

    “A lot of those things are stuff we don’t need.”


    Don’t you mean stuff that Robert Pogson has determined “we” (whoever “we” is) “don’t need”?

    The market is not determined by the buyers of cheap crappy computers Pog. The people who pay for iPads and/or Android tablets in the iPad price range are the ones calling the tune with their money.

  15. Well, you can legitimately say Apple has 100% of the Apple market… People are diverse and they are not all Apple fans. Apple does not even try to sell gadgets less than $X where X is too large for many. What’s happening is that the middle and low-end of the market is expanding rapidly and Apple is not in the game at all.

  16. A lot of those things are stuff we don’t need. It is an improvement in specs but certainly not worth chucking the old device just for the Hell of it. I think every Apple-fan has probably bought their ithingies already. I expect sales of the new, improved iThingy will be slower.

  17. Clarence Moon says:

    There is some doubt as to what is being counted here as well. An $800 iPad is not the same thing as a $89 clearance tablet from the online surplus outlets. At the iPad size, there are only a couple of competitors and they are not so popular.

  18. oldman says:

    Pog I would suggest you check out the new iPad 3 announcement and reconsider your post..
    Th announcement that is going one has the following highlights: Retina display. A5X chip with quad-core graphics. 5MP iSight camera. 1080p video recording. Voice dictation. Most wireless bands ever in a device.

    Analysis have said that Apple is on track top shipping ins 100millionth iPad.

    The iPad cloners running Android have catch-up to do again!

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