Consumers Perplexed by Increasing Media Tablet Choice: IDC Canada Examines the Evolving Consumer Media Tablet Market

TORONTO, November 2, 2011 – International Data Corp Canada (IDC Canada) today announced key highlights from its newly published report, Buyer Behaviour Part 2: How Canadian Consumers Buy Media Tablets (Doc # CA3DMT11). Today Canadian consumers have more questions than ever when it comes to considering and making a media tablet purchase decision, particularly given how the landscape has changed significantly in just 12 months. IDC now tracks 50 different media tablet models in Canada alone, compared to just a handful at this time last year. The plethora of devices has made it challenging for the average consumer to evaluate and select the device most suitable for their needs. Yet, in some ways, the market has not changed much at all. Apple remains the market leader head and shoulders above the next closest vendor. Still in its infancy, the market will evolve with a continuous change in the mix of players, content on the devices as well as usage by consumers.

In the recently published report, IDC looks at consumers' thoughts, perceptions, and intentions with respect to media tablets in Canada. Key takeaways from this report include:

Purchase Location Matters: Specialty retail stores will remain top of mind when consumers purchase a media tablet. However, telcos are expected to increase their relevance and share of the channel.

Pricing Pressure on the Horizon: With the consumers' ideal price range currently well under $500, vendors that have not already adjusted their price points will need to do so soon in order to compete for market share.

Content Matters: Hardware is not the differentiating factor moving forward. Instead, the back-end ecosystem, accompanying content/apps, and user experience are more likely to dictate who will ultimately win in this market.

Consumers Are Not Replacing PCs…Yet: Some of the very features that make media tablets so attractive, are the same features that may prevent them from cannibalizing the PC market.

"In the media tablet market, there is Apple, and then there is everyone else. These other competitors will be left to duke it out, driving down prices," said Krista Napier, senior analyst, Competitive Intelligence & Emerging Technology at IDC Canada. "To maintain profitable businesses, all competitors in this space will need to look beyond the hardware, and consider the ecosystem, content, and experiences behind the devices, which will ultimately drive success."

IDC Canada conducted the consumer survey in September 2011 with 1,005 respondents, to better understand their perceptions, preferences, and intentions with respect to media tablets. Survey results from IDC Canada's ConsumerScape 360 and BITAP n3 were also included in the study.

This study is the second report in a two-part series that looks at media tablet usage in Canada. Part one focused on the business user and was published in July 2011.

The study provides essential guidance for vendors and other businesses looking to better understand their needs to play in this market successfully. To deliver a thorough perspective of the market, these survey results are coupled with IDC's media tablet tracker data, as well as insight from retailers and distributors, and vendors to develop a clear view of the consumer market.

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About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 47 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.