LONDON Aug 9 Would-be rivals to Apple's
(AAPL.O) iPad have more of a chance in Europe than they do in
the United States, but they need to cut prices fast to grasp
the opportunity, IT research firm Forrester said on Tuesday.
Apple's relatively small retail presence in Europe -- with
52 stores compared with 238 in the United States -- offers a
chance to the likes of Samsung (005930.KS), Acer (2353.TW) and
Research in Motion RIM.TO, Forrester said.
But their prices cannot yet compete with Apple, which has
far larger scale in the tablet market and an efficient supply
chain. Forrester said emerging challengers from China and
Taiwan would likely step in soon with cheaper offerings.
"There is this opportunity for iPad challengers, but the
competition is very fragmented. Competing with Apple will
require a different approach from what we've seen so far," said
analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, the author of the Forrester report.
Apple still has the tablet-computer market almost to itself
after launching the iPad a year and a half ago. It has sold
close to 30 million iPads, whose prices start at about $500.
Forrester expects Apple to sell 80 percent of all consumer
tablets in the United States and 70 percent in Europe this
It expects 2011 worldwide tablet sales to reach 48 million
units, with half of those sold in the United States, 30 percent
in Europe, 15 percent in Asia and 5 percent in Latin America.
Epps said local content and good retail outlets, along with
lower prices, were essential to succeed against Apple.
"A competitor to Apple would have to put together the right
content, the right price and the right channel strategy. There
isn't anyone that has all three," she said.
Tablets are on sale in Europe from Acer, Archos (ARCH.PA),
Asus (2357.TW), HP (HPQ.N), Motorola (MMI.N), BlackBerry maker
Research in Motion, Samsung and Toshiba (6502.T).
Dell DELL.O has not launched its new, 10-inch Streak
tabloid in Europe or North America yet but is concentrating on
China, where it is number two behind Lenovo (0992.HK) and
distributes its products through 10,000 retail outlets.
"Manufacturers, retailers and operators we spoke with all
commented on the failure of the first 7-inch tablets that
attempted to compete with the iPad," Forrester wrote.
"The newer generation of iPad challengers, such as the
10-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Acer Iconia Tab, are getting
better reception, but they're still at a disadvantage to Apple
in terms of channel strategy."
Forrester surveyed almost 14,000 online adult consumers in
France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and
Britain, and also interviewed product strategists from
manufacturers, telecommunications operators and retailers.
Between 2 percent and 7 percent of the consumers surveyed,
depending on the country, said they owned a tablet, and a
further 10 percent to 14 percent said they were interested in
Spain had the highest ownership and France the lowest,
while Germans were most interested in buying a tablet. In
Britain, where Apple has 30 of its European stores, ownership
was relatively low at 3 percent.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)