Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) certainly has taken its share of body blows the last several months, and the company that has been known for innovation and for quality products has now been showing some chinks in the armor. In fact, Apple’s stock took another nosedive this past week upon reports that the sales slowdown for iDevices is more pronounced than usual, which is leading to the chatter that says, Is Apple now just a premium-priced mobile device maker, and not the innovative market leader it once was?
There might be more evidence of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) becoming less a status symbol and more of just another mobile competitor when one takes a look at the latest market survey of tablet computers in the U.K. for the first quarter of 2013. The survey, conducted by YouGov’s Quarterly Tablet Tracker, reported this week that Apple has lost significant ground in the tablet market in the U.K. giving way to Samsung devices and the latest Kindle Fire by Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), both of which run off the Android operating system by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG).
Although Apple introduced the new iPad 4 and iPad Mini to market during the fourth quarter of 2012, the U.K. market survey showed that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) made up 63 percent of the market, down from 73 percent in the first quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, Samsung tablets rose from 4 percent in 2012 to 10 percent now; the Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus 7 tablet is up to 8 percent in less than a year; and the Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire went from 1 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 5 percent now.
What might be even more disheartening for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is this: The company’s market share dropped in a market that has grown 5 percent since a year earlier – up to 8 million U.K. adults, an 18-percent jump in tablet owners.
John Gilbert of YouGov said of the survey results, “(I)t is not simply a matter of inexpensive products flooding the market. It seems that Apple no longer has a monopoly on the ‘premium’ share as other brands emerge with near-equal satisfaction scores. Given the market’s current expectations and considerations in purchasing tablets, we anticipate Apple to lose additional share throughout the coming year to Samsung, Google and Amazon.”
Do you agree with this assessment? Has Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) lost the corner on the premium market in terms of quality devices in the premium price range, or is it more due to lower prices and the competition? Are you a tablet owner and shopper? What has been your experience? Let us know in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.