The state of the Tablet market - 3 Sep 2012

Buying a tablet in today’s market is fun whether for business or pleasure, these versatile devices meet the demands of both lifestyles! As Tim Cook addressed the WWDC in March 2012 he introduced the new iPad and spent a significant time referring to a “post PC world”, a world, which saw people using tablets more than traditional PC’s for completing the bulk of their work.

apple ipad and microsoft surface comparison

Morgan Stanley were reporting the PC’s market for the previous year had near enough stopped. The data also projected that by the end of the year 2012, the PC market would grow by merely 0.7%, in comparison to the tablet market growth of 91.7%. As Tim Cook unveiled the new iPad I’m sure he knew the competition around him was heating up and competitors were merely bidding their time to release their tablets.

Consumers too, are slowly being awakened to the idea that competition around Apple is catching up and manufacturers are producing some competitive gadgets that certainly warrant some attention and consideration. This is especially true in the wake of Microsoft releasing their new tablet called “Surface”. In this blog I’ll to explore the market as it stands, looking at the strength of the iPad against this competition weighing up the pro’s and con’s of each competitor. I have tried to stick to a £400 budget for this, when it comes to the Surface I have based this comparison on the ‘RT’ version as the ‘PRO’ is anticipated to have a £900 retail price tag!

The current competitors out on the market are:

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 3G: Android

Packard Bell Liberty Tab: Android

Microsoft Surface RT: Windows 8

Apple iPad 3: Apple iOS


Samsung Galaxy Tab:samsung galaxy tablet 8.9 3g



  • It is the smallest of all the tablets and the lightest
  • 3G
  • Adobe Flash player support
  • Inbuilt Polaris Office: PowerPoint, Web and Excel
  • Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) – this could be a CON also!!
  • Ports include USB, TV-Output and PC Sync



  • This has the smallest screen at only 8.9 inches
  • Doesn’t support many additional applications unlike the iPad
  • Keyboard Add-on extra cost
  • 3Mp low quality camera


Packard Bell:packard bell liberty tablet



  • Cheapest tablet at £350
  • Good Construction and build
  • Nice design and different colors available
  • Ports include HDMI port, USB port and Micro-USB sockets
  • Stereo Speakers with Dolby Mobile Enhancement
  • 10hrs Battery life



  • Very little applications available
  • Fairly weighty tab in comparison to the Galaxy tab or iPad
  • Poor Quality 5MP front facing camera and 2 MP rear facing camera
  • Screen brightness needs to be turned up full


Apple iPad:first generation ipad



  • Responsive touch screen
  • App Store
  • Compatibility with other Apple Devices and iCloud
  • Apple A5X dual-core processor
  • Retina Display
  • Good Battery Life



  • No additional ports
  • Only Wi-fi
  • 16GB Storage
  • At £400 little connectivity is available


Microsoft Surface:microsoft surface



  • Keyboard, kickstand and Pen
  • Ports include microSDXC, USb 3.0, Mini Display Port, 2×2 MiMO Antennae and  Full HD Display Screen
  • 32GB Storage
  • Magnesium Alloy Chassis



  • ARM based processor
  • Potential Pricing Strategy
  • No expandable memory
  • No Release date or price


The stats lead to a fairly all round market.  The Samsung and Packard seem to be in a league of their own just below Apple and Microsoft. Both the smaller machines are fine; their screens responsiveness is disappointing compared to the iPad and often mistake dragging movements for selecting, which proves frustrating after a while. Also, when using them you can’t help but be comparing them to the seamless effort at which the iPad does everything.

So, the iPad and Surface competing it out, sadly with limited real hands-on reviews of the Surface it leaves it difficult to form a solid opinion of which one is best. Of the reviews I have read though, the Surface RT has got off to a good start. Both the body and attachments appear solid, although attachments seem to have adopted the same idea from Apple! Microsoft appears to have done a good job, more creative and polished than most Android tablets available. Now the questions hang on the battery life, and Microsoft convincing the world that Windows 8 is a comparable operating system to Apples iOS.

Over the next year it will be interesting to see how well Apple can hold onto the 62.65% share of the market it currently holds. I feel Apple still have and will have for a long time the lead on the market, Microsoft may try to compete with their Surface Tablet and I think it could be beginning of them making their impressive stamp but I just can’t see it overtaking the iPad anytime soon. Sadly, the Androids are lacking serious punch and cannot compete with the giant that is Apple.

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