Bajarin: Apple looks to be ‘iPodding’ the tablet market

“I have been speaking with various tablet vendors lately and more than once, the topic of Apple ‘iPodding’ the industry has come up,” Tim Bajarin writes for PC Magazine.

“iPodding basically refers to the fact that although Apple has been selling the iPod for more than 10 years now, it still owns more than 75 percent of the portable digital music player market,” Bajarin writes. “This fact is giving many of the tablet vendors nightmares. Although they believe there is room for multiple entries given the potential market size and worldwide demand, they recognize that Apple has effectively cornered the music player market and fear that it could do the same with tablets… They know that the secret to Apple success has been its ability to build its hardware and software around an integrated eco-system. This powerful platform is where competitors confidence level lags and the ‘iPodding’ fears raise its head. And to be honest, this should concern them.”

Bajarin writes, “At the moment, I don’t see anybody creating a unified and powerful enough platform that comes close to what Apple already has in the market. That is why Apple is cornering the market in mobile devices today and why it could continue to grow its user base worldwide at the expense of its competitors. Unless something changes dramatically in the Android and Windows camps to bring about a seriously cohesive platform, Apple could potentially ‘iPod’ the tablet market given its initial iPad momentum and the mature platform.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve written before, as recently as this past Saturday:

Apple continues to dominate in not just profit share, but also market share in the portable media player market… As with iPods, there are no third-parties (carriers) inextricably tied to tablets. The carriers are not the primary means for selling tablets as they are for smartphones. Therefore there is no one to foist pretend iPads into the hands of the ignoranti they way carriers currently do with Android phones and soon will do with Windows Phones. The iPad market is just that: The iPad market, not the tablet market. The iPad is much more like the iPod than iPhone.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


  1. All the companies complaining about not being able to penetrate the iPad market had just as much time as Apple to invent a product and ecosystem. Think different!

  2. The world prefers quality over crap, elegance over crudeness, intuitive interface over confusion, beauty over tastelessness, and productivity over frustration. It gives me hope for mankind. And for my Apple shares.

      1. There are reasons for dominance of the three you mention. And none of it has any comparison to what is happening with the iPad. But I think you probably know that.

      2. you forget that name brand items are sold at Walmart as well. Apple to name one…
        Walmart is cheaper, but not everything they sell is crap.

        McDonald’s, I can’t disagree with you

  3. Most “analysts” were pretty smug in predicting failure for Apple and the iPad becasue of Android’s “openness” and wide variety from so many different manufacturers.
    If Apple does happen to “iPod” the tablet market, I just hope no one tries to make the case of anti-competitive or monopolistic practices becasue this has been a case study for openness vs a company putting quality and users first, betting the house on a new category many were mocking.

  4. electronics don’t cost budget killing amounts. The cost have come down so much that consumers who have disposable income do not think too much about getting them. and those who work a modest part time job can save up for one.

    computers don’t cost $3-5k anymore. Saving $100-200 on a NON iPad/iPod are meaningless savings over the life of an item. Especially since the iOS ecosystem is so complete.

  5. I was just reading Steve’s biography, the part where Jobs and Gates discuss vertical vs. fragmented…

    Seems that Gates wasn’t thinking about adding additional products to an ecosystem all that much. That’s when vertical becomes even more important, and fragmented becomes more fragmented.

    Apple’s sales are going exponential while offering only a few products. While the rest are going exponential with the number of products, and getting fewer sales.

    And that’s Jenga.

  6. Before we get too confident, we should be keeping an eye on how the LTE iPads are selling thru the carriers. If people start getting used to the idea of going to their carriers for high-speed LTE iPads, Apple becomes vulnerable to the market distortion currently only found in the smartphone arena, where carriers try to push customers to alternate devices.

  7. “Apple becomes vulnerable to the market distortion currently only found in the smartphone arena, where carriers try to push customers to alternate devices.”

    As someone pointed out in another MDN post — Apple doesn’t seem to be suffering too badly because of that effect. (understatement) The rationale given made sense — when people walk in to buy an iPhone, they want an iPhone. And there seem to be enormous numbers of people with that specificity — they are NOT walking in thinking, “I want to buy a phone. I’m flexible on which.”

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