Laptop and accessories retailer, The Notebook Company – which manages the Laptop.co.za and Notebook.co.za online retail sites – believes Microsoft’s new Surface tablet will have a muted impact on Apple’s iPad dominance in the tablet market and if it achieves 5% of market share within the next two years “it will be a lot”.
According to Christopher Riley, MD of The Notebook Company, Microsoft will be lucky to achieve as much as 20% of the market – with 5% being a more likely target. “The iPad is really established and its popularity seems unassailable. If competitors – including the new entrants, Google and Microsoft – do take some market share, it is unlikely that the iPad’s share will drop anywhere below 50% of the market,” said Riley.
He said that while Microsoft runs the risk of alienating OEMs, or hardware partners – by bringing out its own hardware – the software giant is smelling money in a market that is still on a growth curve. “What is naturally on Microsoft’s side – besides their marketing muscle – is that they will be able to exploit all of the features of Windows 8. So, even if they attain a relatively small market share in the tablet market, it is nonetheless additional revenue they would not have won.
“But it does seem that the market is increasingly morphing, with hardware companies straying deep into software territory, and software companies straying deep into hardware territory.
“Time will tell whether or not this is a smart move – and which companies get hurt financially by stepping on toes.”