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Apple iPad could lose popularity 'if other devices were cheaper'

Apple iPad could lose popularity 'if other devices were cheaper'

Rivals urged to offer cheaper devices and better apps

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Rival manufacturers to Apple’s iPad tablet could increase their market share by dropping their prices, but they will need to fight hard, according to analyst house Forrester.

Companies including Acer, Archos, Asus, HP, Motorola, Research In Motion, Samsung and Toshiba all needed to investigate better content and business apps for their devices, it added.

Forrester called on content providers to prioritise browser optimization over native app development for the iPad, so that content is easily accessible on all devices.

It said that “despite Apple’s dominance in tablets”, product strategists at rivals “have all launched would-be iPad competitors in Europe”.

“But even with all this competition, prices for iPad competitors remain too high, and no player has assembled an ecosystem of content and applications that rival Apple’s,” it said.

Content ecosystems needed to properly address what users want to do with the device “in work and play”, Forrester said. In particular, it said, “bringing local content providers as well as business applications developers” onto different platforms will be “crucial” to their success.

Many rivals had failed to provide the kind of in-store experience of Apple iPads in shopping centres and high streets, it said.

Offering tablets as a service to customers – such as Samsung Galaxy tablets being handed on board to first class passengers on American Airlines – would be successful ways to promote the brand.

Forrester estimates, following a survey with 13,886 adults in Europe, that sales of tablets on the continent will represent a third of global sales. In the UK, three percent of people surveyed said they own a tablet, and a further 12 percent intend to buy one.

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