Apple iPad vs. iPhone 4S: Sales competition within the brand

Tuesday, 21 February 2012 18:01
iPhone4s100511_optBY JASON KIM

The Apple iPhone 4S success in sales. However, it’s own success seems to be cannibalizing sales of Apple’s iPad tablet devices.

As reported, overall quarterly sales of the ever popular iPad (original and 2nd gen.), is stronger than ever before, recording for Q.4 of 2011 an estimated 15.4 million units sold around the world. However, in an interesting twist of business fate, the iPad series have lost overall market share.

Apple shipped a record 37 million iPhones during the fourth quarter, as reported by PC mag.

Although launches by competitors, such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire, contributed to some of the swings of the percentages, tech analysts are short of crediting the Kindle Fire as the culprit in causing such after effects on the iPad.

“Shipments of the iPad line fell short of IHS estimates in the fourth quarter as many loyal Apple customers devoted their dollars to shiny new alternatives," said Rhoda Alexander, senior manager, tablet and monitor research for IHS.

“However, the primary alternative wasn’t the Kindle Fire...but Apple’s own iPhone 4S smart phone," Alexander continued. “The roll-out of the iPhone 4S in October generated intense competition for Apple purchasers’ disposable income, doing more to limit iPad shipment growth than competition from the Kindle Fire and other media tablets."

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook remarked on the "cannibalization phenomenon" recently at Goldman Sachs saying that Apple “...isn't too worried about the trend. The company would prefer that customers move from one Apple product to the next than desert Cupertino altogether."

Cook added, "We never want to hold back none of our teams from building the absolute greatest thing, even if takes some sales from another product area." Ultimately, he just wants the consumer to buy Apple.

Apple iPad tablet shipment number is by far and still very dominant. Here are the other close competitors in the Q.4 2011 report: Amazon 3.9 million, Samsung 2.1 million, B&N 1.9 million, Asus 612,000, and the rest combined totaled 3.1 million.

Expectations from the report indicate that IHS is expecting, “Apple is set to reclaim its tablet market share when it commences volume shipments of the next version of the iPad, which is expected in the second quarter of this year."

Further, the report anticipates “strong sales for the iPad 3,” because of technological innovations similar to what is included with the iPhone 4S, such as highlighted displays and SIRI voice interface.

“As with previous iPad releases, Apple is anticipated to stage a staggered roll out, introducing the new product in different countries around the globe as supply improves," the report continued.

In 2011, total shipments of all tablet based devices came to 65.2 million units.