Acer: iPad Will Drop to 20% of Tablet Market, Losing to “Open” Android

| News
Acer Chairman J.T. Wang

Acer Chairman J.T. Wang

Apple may be king of the tablet market with its iPad, but as that market stabilizes, Apple see its share drop to 20%-30%, according to a prediction from Acer chairman J.T. Wang. In an interview with Chinese-language Economic Daily News (covered by English-language DigiTimes), Mr. Wang said that history has shows that closed platforms like Apple’s iPad will eventually lose to open systems like the Android platform.

It would appear that someone forgot to get that memo to Apple’s closed Mac platform, which while occupying a small percentage of the computer market, dominates the profitable high-end of that market. The Mac platform has also gained market share for the last several years, even while PC prices from companies like Acer have plummeted.

Mr. Wang isn’t alone in believing that the Android platform will eventually surpass iOS — this reporter has said it’s when, not if, Android gets bigger than iPhone, for instance — though he is the first to boldly make that pronouncement for the tablet market where Apple is effectively competing all alone.

The real question for Apple is not whether it can dominate smartphones like it dominates digital media devices with its iPod, but whether or not it can maintain enough market share to ensure developers continue to make apps for its mobile platforms, and to ensure that it dominates the high end of the market where the profits are.

It’s the latter part of the equation that those companies who bought into Microsoft’s open licensing business model — and now Google’s even more open licensing model with Android — have traditionally ignored.

Popular TMO Stories


Welcome, Android. Seriously.

Nothing we haven’t seen before.  Apple was king of the personal computer market before low-cost PCs came along.


You left out “by which time Apple will have gone on to the next new thing.” Acer got caught flat footed by the iPad. They are skating to where the puck is now.


The problem is, Acer and all the others are playing a different game than Apple. Hence they don’t understand the rules.

Dean Lewis

Everyone who races to the bottom, still ends up at the bottom.


The problem is, Acer and all the others are playing a different game than Apple. Hence they don?t understand the rules.

Exactly… we’ve heard this before. 

It is true that there will be some “drop”, because what else is out there in terms of viable alternatives to the iPad?  So this prediction will come true, perhaps not in terms of the actual numbers quoted here, but Apple will lose market share to other companies in the tablet area simply because there aren’t really any other alternatives.

That still doesn’t address the larger point, that these clowns simply don’t get Apple’s business model.


promises, promises…

I thought the other tablets would have Chrome on them? Oops..


Looking at Acer’s problems (having announced declining sales of netbooks last quarter), it seems that Acer is the puck these days.

And it’s not going to get better any time soon.


20% will still be larger than Acer’s share, as every other PC maker rushes to make the cheapest tablet to compete. Meanwhile, Apple makes a tidy profit on both the hardware and the app store, which the PC companies don’t see a dime from with Android.

I don’t think Apple will be complaining in the least.


Acer’s big folly is going with Android.

Meanwhile, Google will put Chrome OS on its own tablet and just about the time any competitor has a shot at taking off…discontinue Android.

They’ll lose money on their hardware because they’ve bet on an EOL OS!


I honestly don’t think so. The mobile market is not the PC market, I don’t think it’s fair to draw these kinds of comparisons. These are simpler mainstream devices than PCs (of any kind) ever were, and most people are going to be leveraging features, cost, and ease of use. I think it’ll end up being just the geeks that will care at all about getting under the hood, IMHO. Honestly, most people I know don’t have the foggiest idea what jailbreaking is, or even what Android really is other than a smart phone, nor do they care (ditto Flash vs. HTML5, it just doesn’t matter to them).

The market will definitely even out, that’s a given, but it will also diversify. People will buy what they feel is appropriate for them.


It’s a different world so cheaper and confusing won’t make the bacon this time round. The older generations are too tired and the new ones too busy to tinker. We want things “just to work”; and the gaggle of wannabes, lacking forethought, didn’t take the time and loot to plan, research and design tablets that might compete. You don’t just grab the cheapest parts and slap together a tablet. It’s not like making a PC.


Doesn’t Apple still dominate market share with the iPod in general?


That still doesn?t address the larger point, that these clowns simply don?t get Apple?s business model.

They get the business model alright. They just are in a situation where they find it very hard to compete with Apple on Apple’s terms. Like in the PC market, Dell or Acer or whoever could certainly build PCs that at least look better compared to Macs than what they sell today. The problem is that while they could steal a small number of Mac sales, they would at the same time lose huge numbers of sales to HP or Toshiba, because they cannot at the same time compete with Apple on quality without losing against the others on price.

And maybe they can produce low-price Android tablets that reduce the unit share of the iPad, but they will have the same problem as in the PC market, where you have a dozen competitors with no distinguishing features who all have to compete on price and _one_ competitor taking all the profits.

In the end, it took Apple about 10 years since the release of the first iMac to get where they are right now. It probably took Acer the same time to get where they are right now, and they will find it very hard to move to Apple’s profitable spot while surviving.


Of course Acer is going to say this.  This shouldn’t be news - it’s PR.  No one is going to say their product isn’t going to be good, and not race to the top of the heap.

“Windows 7 will be great! Better than OSX!” - Steve Ballmer

“Dell will make a better alternative to the iMac!” - Michael Dell

“Droid will kick the iPhone’s ass!” - Motorola

Not news.  Shouldn’t be treated as such.  It only gives it more power.

But I do like the sound of “Chairman Wang” - got a nice ring to it.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

distarr7 nails it with all those quotes. For example… Dell Zino HD with Windows Home Premium is a far better value for most home users at $380 (inc tax and shipping) than a Mac Mini at $700 + tax.

For another example… Android phones are kicking iPhone’s ass. Bryan has a fair point about the high end and profitability, but it’s the same point Apple fans were making in the early 1990s as market share eroded. Others make the point that Apple’s App Store is making money for developers while Google market isn’t. Same point made to developers in the early 1990s about how Mac owners buy more software. But where did all the profits actually end up? Microsoft and developers who supported Windows.

I think the big thing Apple fans are overlooking right now is the possibility of a double-dip recession, depression, or just stagnation in the general economy. People won’t stop buying tech, but they will be much more price sensitive, and “merely adequate” will be more than good enough. It’s a similar macro situation in which Apple lost all of its desktop marketshare the last time.


Thanks for sharing this, Bryan. I needed a good laugh today, and Wang provided it. What a hoot. I’d love to hear his full standup routine some night. Where does he perform? :D


For example? Dell Zino HD with Windows Home Premium is a far better value for most home users at $380 (inc tax and shipping) than a Mac Mini at $700 + tax.

Funny, that’s not what the reviewer says ...
Bit-tech review

The Zino HD commands the best advantage the closer it is to its basic cost, and when you’re thinking of using it as a media PC. Unless you really, really need the smallest form factor available, as soon as you start upgrading it in the Dell configuration pages, the worse value it becomes. For ?630, Mac Mini’s with their 2.26GHz Intel chips and Nvidia 9400M (Ion) start to look temping.

And this comparison was against the old Mini.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Sure, if you’re comparing specs. If instead, you’re just looking for a decent home PC that can handle iTunes (or your favorite media software) as well as a Mini connected to a 1080p screen, there’s really no need to go beyond a dual core AMD at 1.6 GHz and 3MB of RAM. I’ve set 4 people up with that configuration since March, including 1 now former Mac user. Nothing but rave reviews from them.

Point is that there is a lot of room now between more than adequate and Apple’s low end, both in price and performance.


Acer is talking through his ass. Android operating system is open, and with that has viruses and spyware already, IOS4 has none. They are treading down the same path with Android as Windows. It will fail because the last thing the present day consumer wants is viruses and spyware on there phones and tablets.
OSX has no viruses and spyware and people are dumbing there PC’s as fast as they can and switching to Macs.
They will do the same with there phones and Pads.
We aren’t in the 1990’s anymore and consumers are smarter than that.


Again, (oh so boring), Envyboys just don’t get it, sigh! Say slowly. Macs vs slapped together PCs for the average joe: ease and productivity (getting the job done) vs tinkering and putting up with just enough or (more likely) giving up.

All the rest is blather such as “point noted”: Mac users don’t need to be “set up”, and re-set up, ad nauseam.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

No. Mac users don’t have email accounts or favorites. And they don’t have old documents to transfer to their new computer. Nor do they speak common English apparently. “Set 4 people up with” means “recommended and helped purchase”. One of them, I literally “set up” the computer. I spent more time rewiring her desk to get rid of an old tower.


I think it’s interesting that Apple has, on one hand, moved the Mini closer to “media” with HDMI in the new model, yet is spec’ed higher than a “media PC”. The lower-end Zino’s handle that task (can’t comment on their media s/w - WIndows or third-party I guess) for less than a Mini, as you say.

It’s almost as though Apple needs *two* models here (they used to have two). One would be a media player (not what we’ve been hearing about “iTV” or whatever its new name is) and the other a better small system, bigger than today’s Mini.

Personally I would *love* to have a big-Mini that is close in spec to the iMac, but without the screen.


I think the big thing Apple fans are overlooking right now is the possibility of a double-dip recession, depression, or just stagnation in the general economy.

So funny Bosco.  That’s pretty much what people said a few years ago - we are in a recession and Apple with their premium products will suffer greatly.  Well guess what?  They didn’t.  Sales continued to climb pretty much straight through the recession.  So along comes Bosco talking about a double-dip recession?!?!?  In two years it will be Bosco saying, “but beware of the triple-dip recession coming up…”  What’s next?  A Banana Split Recession?!?!?  LOL.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account