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Android tablet shipments outpace iPad growth

Thanks to multiple launches of Android-based devices, the Australia and New Zealand tablet market doubled in the second quarter of 2011, which will no doubt swell as other players including the Amazon Kindle Fire join the fray.

Thanks to multiple launches of Android-based devices, the Australia and New Zealand tablet market doubled in the second quarter of 2011, which will no doubt swell as other players including the Amazon Kindle Fire join the fray.

Android tablets are boomingMedia tablet shipments doubled from the previous three months with 420,000 units shipped, according to IDC's A/NZ Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker. Australia contributed 87.5 percent of the total shipments, while the rest went to New Zealand.

Android tablets tripled in volume, taking up close to 25 percent of the total Australasian market; meanwhile, the Apple iPad 2 doubled in volume but its market share declined to just under 75 percent. The rest of the shipments went to RIM's PlayBook, which launched in New Zealand in early August.

"The market expansion was a combined effort of early adopters refreshing devices purchased last year and new users who were interested in a media tablet as a complementary device, with some waiting for more non-Apple variety," said Yee-Kuan Lau, IDC market analyst.

"That said, there is still strong demand for Apple's iPad 2 since its launch at the end of March.

"The supply-side push from the new Android players in the market, particularly amongst the traditional PC hardware vendors, has caused a large rollout of stock into national retailers to strengthen their brand presence."

Lau said the overwhelming response to HP's TouchPad firesales after its discontinuation was evidence of price point being a key purchasing driver.

The impact of the Kindle Fire on the local market, announced yesterday, won't be known for some time. There is no word on when it might be available in New Zealand. In the US, it is priced at $199.

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