We all know that it has been a fantastic year for Apple. However a new UK poll from Harris Interactive suggests that Apple’s position as the king of cool gadgets might be under threat as young consumers and early adopters take another look at other brands.
The figures highlight that the iPad is clearly the number one tablet with a massive 6:1 ratio lead over second placed Samsung. Apple can also boast the top smartphone of 2012 with the iPhone 5 selected by 39%, a nine point lead over Samsung’s high profile successful Galaxy S3.
However if you look at the figures among early adopters – the people who buy gadgets first and set the trends – the gap is narrowing. Apple’s lead over Samsung in tablets is reduced from a 6:1 ratio among all consumers to 3:1 among early adopters with those influencers eyeing up devices from Samsung, Amazon and others. Apparently the gap between the two brands is even smaller among 16-24 year olds.
Meanwhile the next generation iPhone is the most anticipated smartphone release, but its lead over Samsung is down to just 5%. And, most interesting of all, 25% of current iPhone users are anticipating the release of other smartphones more. And the list of the devices they are looking at includes new phones from Blackberry and Nokia – companies who once dominated the market but have hit hard times lately. Could it be that consumers are missing their old brands? It should be noted though that the research was completed a few weeks after Nokia announced its new Lumia 920 to the world.
As for the iPad Mini, the device entered a market segment that it not only crowded but features some high profile devices from well established aspirational brands.
Ultimately you can make of the report, which you can see in more detail here, what you will. Apple is clearly going to be the dominant force in consumer electronics in the UK for the foreseeable future. However the huge lead it created in the tablet and smartphone markets is likely to disappear. It is not a new problem for Apple though. For a while in the late 90s Apple’s iMac was a massive player in the PC market. However after a few years and a few iterations, consumers got bored of the product and began to spend money on new brands and new formats.
The gauntlet has been thrown down to Apple now to create something truly unique and innovative once again. Our money is on Apple TV.
Next year is going to be very interesting.