Definition of terms
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This is the process of making known the values of a service or product to its potential customers through the different platforms available. Marketing is supposed to meet the wants and needs of customers through coming up with long term business interaction and exchange processes.
This practice may be viewed as an organizational obligation and a set of procedures of creating and communicating the specific values of a product or service to its designated consumer. It also incorporates the maintenance of a standing consumer-producer relationship in a manner that profits both the organization and its respective shareholders.
This process involves the use of quite a number of channels including the media, (news papers, electronic magazines, electronic media like televisions and radios and articles), internet, brochures, mailings and phone calls amongst many others.
The management of a company has the obligation to communicate the existence of the product or service produced therein to prospective clients. Effective marketing of goods and services involves the use of channels that has the capacity to reach the most number of targeted clients.
In addition to that, the cost-effectiveness of the channels is also a factor to consider while choosing the mode of communication. The internet is thought to be the most cost effective mode of marketing. This is because it requires limited resources to reach a considerable number of prospective clients as compared to the rest of the channels.
The social media come in handy here. Marketing may also be defined as a science that involves selecting target markets by use of critical analysis of the markets, understanding consumer trends as well as using market segmentation.
Demand and supply
These are terms use in microeconomics to refer to an economic model of the determination of products’ and services’ prices in a particular market.
They are based on the principle that the price of a good or service in a competitive market will not be constant until it reaches a point where the amount of the goods or services demanded by customers is equal to the amount of the goods or services provided by producers or suppliers (at current price).
This always results to some sort of economic equilibrium where the prices of goods tally with their quantity in a specific market. There are four laws that govern supply and demand. They include:-
- When demand is increased and supply left at a constant, a shortage comes about hence a relatively high equilibrium price.
- When demand is decreased and supply left at a constant, a surplus comes about hence a relatively low equilibrium price.
- When demand is left at a constant and supply increased, a surplus comes about hence a relatively low equilibrium price.
- When demand is left at a constant and supply decreased, a shortage comes about hence a relatively high equilibrium price.
A tablet computer, also referred to as a tablet, is a device in the form of a mobile computer that has a touch-screen and is primarily controlled by use of the fingers, although sometimes supplemented by other physical buttons located on its peripherals.
This device is found in the current markets in different sizes, shapes, color, functionality and prices. Its functionality is always similar to personal digital assistants or the so called smart phones. Despite the fact that tablets are self-contained with their touch screens, they can be connected to other physical keyboards or input devices.
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Additionally, these devices can also offer foldable booklet formats capable of giving their users double touch-screens. This complexity makes them ideal for use as notebooks since they display a virtual keyboard on the display.
Even though the tablets were conceptualized in 20th century and first manufactured in its last two decades, they have only been affordable and practical during the 21st century.
This research project will be based on the tablet market in Switzerland and Austria. The three tablet products selected for the purposes of this study are Apple’s iPad tablet, Microsoft’s Surface tablet and Samsung’s Galaxy tablet.
The Galaxy Tab and iPad have always dominated the tablet markets while Microsoft’s Surface tablet is only a few months old in the market though promising too. The three products have comparatively fitted in the markets with all of them registering high volumes of sales in the two markets mentioned above.
This is an indication that the products have had a warm reception in the markets by their consumers. However, the convenience they offer individually to their users and other varying factors in the markets makes the sales of the products slightly different.
This paper is meant to give a comprehensive analysis of the performance of the three suppliers in both the Swiss and Austrian markets. Factors like total sales and market sizes in terms of currency and volume of sales will play an integral part in coming up with the facts and figures for this study.
The characteristics of supply and demand for the three products in these markets are also part of the important factors that will be accorded special attention during the study.
Other important factors noted are the evolution of prices and recent trends. All these are included in the paper in a bid to come up with an all-inclusive research paper that leaves no loopholes unattended to.
In order to visualize the market trends of these products, the paper will evaluate the characteristics of all the products and their specific advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, the paper will give a comprehensive evaluation of the distributions channels of these products like the wholesalers, retailers, online sites and other relevant channels.
The market demographics will also not be left behind in this study. All these are done in a bid to com e up with a clear outline of the possible future marketing opportunities. Besides, the findings of this research may also be very useful in the determination of possible future changes in the brands of the products and perhaps their modes of advertisements.
Some of the approach methods that will be taken into close consideration while conducting this research are the geographical disparities between the two markets, technical disparities between the three major suppliers of the tablets and the importance of having an economically manageable research solution.
It is important to note that the study will be based on secondary research materials like the internet, data from published internet reports, newspapers, business magazines, books and government statistics amongst others.
Another important source of information on the tablet market will be the user-generated content. This will be considered for the purposes of this study due to the fact that the table market highly depends on user opinions and recommendations.
Characteristics of the products
Characteristics of Apple’s iPad tablet
All the three products have more or less the same characteristics but the paper will focus more on the distinct features. The Apple’s iPad tablet, for instance, has the SmartNote application that allows its users to quickly key in and arranger their daily data according to their own preferences.
This tablet also has a free Twitterrific application that enables its users to track, directly respond to and most importantly implement Twitter feature in their tablet.
It is also important to mention the WifiTrak application of the device. This application is important in helping users find and open public or private Wi-Fi hotspots in the vicinity. All these are just but a few characteristics.
Advantages and disadvantages of the iPad tablet
The most outstanding advantage of buying the iPad is the presence of its 1GHz Dual score. This allows its users to download applications more efficiently and fast without the need to change batteries which, as a matter of fact, continue to maintain their charge for over ten hours.
The light weight of the device compared to other similar devices in the markets is also a comparable advantage. It is also important to mention the advanced graphics of the device as well as its wide screen that brings about a good feeling while surfing the internet of watching a movie (Jacoby, 3).
On the other hand, the iPad has disadvantages as well. For instance, the device does not support the Adobe Flash Player which is very necessary for watching video clips from You Tube and other sites.
This is perhaps because of the unpleasant organizational relationship between the Apple Company and Adobe. In addition to that, Apple’s iPad is relatively expensive as compared to other tablets. For this reason, it is affordable to only a few people hence its unpopularity.
Characteristics of Microsoft’s Surface tablet
The Microsoft’s Surface is famous for its built-in kickstand. The kickstand gives a totally different experience while watching movies on the tablet or perusing through the photos. This is because the user can simply prop up the tablet by use of the kickstand.
In addition to the kickstand application, Surface tablet has enough space to cater for the varied needs of its users. It gives a variety of storage options from 32GB to an overwhelming 128GB.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Surface tablet
The Microsoft’s Surface tablet is famous for its premium feel and stylish look. It impressed quite a number of people and this alone makes it sell. The incorporation of the kickstand application into the system of this device gives it an upper hand in the markets.
Additionally, the fact that it is the most convenient tablet for Windows 8 operating system makes it more acceptable in the current markets. This is perhaps because of the fact that Windows 8 is the most recent and user-friendly operating system today.
Just like every other tablet, the Surface tablet had disadvantages too. For instance, the device is thought to have a poor selection of applications. Its display has also been viewed as very standard and offers no complexity or sophistication.
This gives it a rather sluggish graphical presentation; something that has never been appealing to teenage customers. The fact that the cameras of this device lack flashes is also limiting the number of sales of the product to the elderly and not teenagers. Its relatively heavier weight as compared to the iPad is also a setback.
Characteristics of Samsung’s Galaxy tablet
One of the most outstanding features for the Samsung’s Galaxy tablet is its ability to support an external storage of up to 64GB. This fits in the range of needs of most users. Besides, the Samsung Galaxy S2 has 1GB RAM, dual core of 1.2GHz and 8MP camera.
Another amazing application incorporated in this tablet is the new Skype application on Google android that enables users to link their gadgets through video clip calls.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Galaxy tablet
Unlike the iPad, the Samsung Galaxy tablet does not feel flimsy despite the use of plastic on its body casing. This tablet has a screen that includes a 800 x 1280 resolution hence giving the user an amazing experience when surfing the internet or even when watching movies.
The device is also incorporated with rear and front facing cameras with rear flash to take photos even in the dark. That notwithstanding, the device has an ambient light sensor, compass, gyroscope and an accelerometer.
Despite the numerous advantages of the Galaxy tablet, it has its disadvantages too. It has been proven that the Wi-Fi specifications of this product had improved but recent sources say that it has worsened lately. It now has poor detections of Wi-Fi hotspots and sometimes limited access to networks in its range.
Additionally, the device is thought to support the famous Adobe Flash player but this is not the case as expected. As many thought, the software should have come preinstalled in the system of the device.
Nonetheless, users have to install the software for themselves and surprisingly the device does not even have a desktop shortcut that links Adobe Flash player to the Android Marketplace.
Facts and figures
This is the section that will provide a comprehensive analysis of the performance of the three products (Galaxy, iPad and Surface tablets) in the two different markets (Swiss and Austrian).
It is worth noting that the research conducted and facts tabled were purely based on relative approximations at that particular moment (Jacoby, 3). This confirmation gives room for flexibility and consequently changes in the facts and figures as per this moment.
Demographics for sales of Apple’s iPad in the Swiss market
IPad tablet sales
187,367 iPad tablets sold in the last 90 days
The distribution of iPad owners in terms of gender in the Swiss market
The distribution of iPad owners in terms of age in the Swiss market
55+ : 13%
45-54 : 17%
35-44 : 28%
30-34 : 15%
21-29 : 19%
Under 20 : 8%
The distribution of iPad owners in terms of income and psychographics in the Swiss market (Douez n. pag.)
The iPad owners in the Swiss market may be correctly described as assertive and extroverts. They may also be referred to as a sophisticated group considering the sales as reflected in the demographics. A key characteristic of iPad owners in this market was the income. From the statistical data of iPad owners by age, it was right to say that the age bracket that most likely registered the highest rate of employment owned the most number of iPad tablets in the market. This was the age between 35 and 44 which owned 28% of the total iPad tablets sold in the market during the time of the study.
Demographics for sales of Microsoft’s Surface in the Swiss market
Microsoft’s Surface tablet sales
199,473 Microsoft’s Surface tablets sold in the last 90 days
The distribution of Microsoft’s Surface owners in terms of gender in the Swiss market
The distribution of Microsoft’s Surface owners in terms of age in the Swiss market
55+ : 15%
45-54 : 16%
30-34 : 14%
21-29 : 20%
Under 20 : 10%
The distribution of Microsoft’s Surface owners in terms of income and psychographics in the Swiss market
The same applied to the Surface owners in the Swiss market. The age bracket that owned the most number of Surface tablets in the market was 35-44.
This implied that the group of people that most likely had more money purchased more Surface tablets as compared to the others. Surface tablet owners in this market may also be described as extroverts (Wichert, and Birgid, 183).
Demographics for sales of Samsung’s Galaxy in the Swiss market
Samsung’s Galaxy tablet sales
210,374 Samsung’s Galaxy tablets sold in the last 90 days
The distribution of Samsung’s Galaxy owners in terms of gender in the Swiss market
The distribution of Samsung’s Galaxy owners in terms of age in the Swiss market
55+ : 14%
45-54 : 18%
35-44 : 27%
30-34 : 12%
21-29 : 20%
Under 20 : 9%
The distribution of Samsung’s Galaxy owners in terms of income and psychographics in the Swiss market
The Samsung’s Galaxy owners in the Swiss market may be correctly described as assertive and extroverts too. They may also be referred to as a sophisticated group (just like iPad and Surface owners) considering the sales as reflected in the demographics. A key characteristic of Samsung’s Galaxy owners in this market was the income.
Form the statistical data of Samsung’s Galaxy owners by age, it was right to say that the age bracket where most likely registered the highest rate of employment owned the most number of Samsung’s Galaxy tablets in the market.
This was the age between 35 and 44 which owned 27% of the total Samsung’s Galaxy tablets sold in the market during the time of the study.
Demographics for sales of Apple’s iPad in the Austrian market
IPad tablet sales
192,574 iPad tablets sold in the last 90 days
The distribution of iPad owners in terms of gender in the Austrian market
The distribution of iPad owners in terms of age in the Austrian market
55+ : 16%
45-54 : 17%
35-44 : 29%
30-34 : 16%
21-29 : 17%
Under 20 : 5%
The distribution of iPad owners in terms of income and psychographics in the Austrian market
The trend is almost the same as already explained in the previous statistics. The population or age bracket that earned the most made the highest number of purchases of the Apple’s iPad tablets in this market. This was so because they seemed to have more money as compared to those under the age of twenty whose purchase for this item was as low as 5% of the total sales during that period.
Demographics for sales of Microsoft’s Surface in the Austrian market
Microsoft’s Surface tablet sales
209,374 Microsoft’s Surface tablets sold in the last 90 days
The distribution of Microsoft’s Surface owners in terms of gender in the Austrian market
The distribution of Microsoft’s Surface owners in terms of age in the Austrian market (Werner, Werner & Oberzaucher 177).
55+ : 12%
45-54 : 15%
35-44 : 30%
30-34 : 16%
21-29 : 19%
Under 20 : 8%
The distribution of Microsoft’s Surface owners in terms of income and psychographics in the Austrian market
Even though Microsoft’s Surface tablet was new to the market as compared to the other products, it registered overwhelming sales during that period. In terms of income, it is important to note that the age bracket between 35 and 44 years still made the most number of purchases.
This was attributed to the fact that this age bracket contained the most number of people with employment and who earn considerably well as compared to the others (“Semantic Analysis of Multimedia and Contextual Data” 9).
Demographics for sales of Samsung’s Galaxy in the Austrian market
Samsung’s Galaxy tablet sales
237,955 Samsung’s Galaxy tablets sold in the last 90 days
The distribution of Samsung’s Galaxy owners in terms of gender in the Austrian market
The distribution of Samsung’s Galaxy owners in terms of age in the Austrian market
55+ : 10%
45-54 : 19%
35-44 : 31%
30-34 : 14%
21-29 : 18%
Under 20 : 8%
The distribution of Samsung’s Galaxy owners in terms of income and psychographics in the Austrian market
Just like in the statistics of purchases of the Surface tablets in the Austrian market, individuals with the highest income bought more tablets as compared to their counterparts who earned relatively less money. In conclusion, therefore, we noted that the tablets, inconsiderate of their brands, were mostly purchased by people in the age bracket of 35-44.
Explanations of the market trends of both Switzerland and Austria
The two Swiss and Austrian markets most definitely had varied market sizes hence the disparity in the sales registered during the 90-day period. In addition to the size of the markets, there must have been variations in supply and demand characteristics of the three suppliers and the consumers respectively.
For this reason, there had to be differences in the sales of all the three products just like evidenced in the statistics tabled above (“Semantic Analysis of Multimedia and Contextual Data” 9). However, it is important to note that the purchases of all the three products were comparatively high.
This was an implication that the supply of the products was at equilibrium with their demand in all the two markets. It, therefore, meant that consumers were at liberty to go for the products they desire and they would get them without occurrence of shortage (Jacoby, 3).
Market trends of the three products in Switzerland
The facts obtained from the tablet market in Switzerland indicated that more men than women purchased all the three products. Generally, men are more likely to buy tablets than women so this trend just conforms to the international trend.
It was also noted that Apple’s iPad tablet did not do as well as Microsoft’s Surface and Samsung’s Galaxy tablets in terms of sales (Jeannette, 7). This might have been attributed to the fact that iPad tablets are relatively expensive as compared to the other two tablets.
Microsoft’s Surface tablet did not do as good as Samsung’s Galaxy tablet either. This, on the other hand, could have been attributed to the fact that Surface tablets do not look as classy as the Galaxy tablets even though their prices are nearly same.
The trend of purchase displayed by people of different ages in this market was an indication that more tablets were owned by people of the ages between 35 and 44 who are thought to have more employment as compared to the others.
This further indicated that tablets were relatively expensive since the population below twenty years registered the least percentage of purchases. Additionally, the old people in the age bracket of 55 and above exhibited a similar trend to those under the age of twenty.
Market trends of the three products in Austria
The trends of purchase of all the three products in Austria were relatively same to the trends exhibited in Switzerland. This might have been championed by the fact that the income levels of the populations of the two countries were almost the same and that their economies were at par.
The age brackets and income of the populations of the two markets displayed an almost similar trend. However, there were slight differences in the total number of sales of the three products in the two markets (Jacoby, 3).
It was noted that general purchase of the products was high in Switzerland than in Austria. This may have come about as a result of quite a number of factors. For instance, the difference in market sizes would have caused the difference in the number of purchases made for all the products.
Other factors that would have resulted to this variation are currency and the evolution of prices. This happens particularly when prices are rather constant in one market while the other market experiences fluctuations in the prices.
In some occasions, the inconsistency of demand and supply characteristics may play a part in causing variations in purchase trends like in the example above (Wichert, and Birgid, 183).
Distribution channels for the three products in both Swiss and Austrian markets
A distribution channel may be defined as conduit through which services or goods move from the producer to the consumer. It may also refer to the path through which payments for goods and services follow from consumers to their respective producers (Dent, 12).
There are quite a number of distribution channels that were used by the three suppliers (Samsung, Microsoft and Apple) to market and supply their products in the two markets (Austrian and Swiss). These include wholesalers, distributors, retailers and online sites amongst others.
Suppliers may either decide to sell their products and services to their consumers through wholesalers and retailers or sell directly without an intermediary. This too might have resulted to the difference in sales in the two markets for the three products.
This is because when a supplier decides to do business directly with the consumer, charges for the service or good becomes relatively low hence customers are more likely to purchase the good or service. For this reason, if any of the suppliers in either market applied this principle, they would have made more sales (Dent, 12).
Some factors must be taken into account while choosing the right distribution channel for a product or service. For instance, the complexity of the product or service will determine whether its distributors are supposed to be specialists or not. The market itself may be a determinant in identifying a distribution channel.
For instance, if the market involves selling products abroad then a more convenient distribution channel is mandatory. Other factors include the type of business and legal issues that may be associated with the distribution channel used (Dent, 12).
After critically analyzing the facts and figures for the purchase trends of iPad, Galaxy and Surface tablets in the Swiss ad Austrian markets, we came up with a few recommendations that might play a significant role in increasing the sales of individual suppliers in both markets.
The suppliers, just like any other profit-making business, have the obligation of meeting organizational objectives while satisfying both the management and shareholders. From the trends in the two markets for all the products, it can be noted that Apple’s iPad registered the lowest sales.
This was attributed to the fact that iPad tablets were more expensive as compared to Galaxy and Surface tablets with almost the same quality. We recommend, therefore, that Apple Company should consider reviewing its prices in order to offer customers more affordable tablets.
This should not only be done in Austria where sales are lowest but also in Switzerland. This will help a great deal in making Apple’s iPad to compete favorably with other products in the market.
Apple should also consider revising its marketing strategies because they might have contributed to the low sales made during the 90-day period. This is because only a few people could have been made aware of the availability of Apple’s iPad tablets in the market.
The number of sales is bound to rise considerably if more people were to be made aware of the existence of this product in the markets of both Switzerland and Austria. The use of social media can have enormous effect in the quest to make the product from Apple known to the public.
The social media are known to attract a lot of traffic from all over the world. This implies that in the event that Apple Company opts to exert its efforts to market its iPad in the social media like facebook and twitter, it will not only make sales locally but also internationally.
A market is defined by healthy competition of suppliers of same products. It is only through this that suppliers may be able to evaluate their loopholes and maximize on their strengths in order to make the most number of sales they could ever achieve.
Additionally, a healthy business competition enables individual businesses to make comprehensive SWOT analysis so as to improve or maintain profit margins. It is only through this that suppliers may be able to compete favorably with one another to meet their organizational objectives in an economy.
In conclusion, therefore, businesses should be in a position of conducting a critical analysis of their strengths and weaknesses in order to come up with the most viable business concept within a particular market.
Dent, Julian. Distribution Channels: Understanding and Managing Channels to Market. London: Kogan Page, 2011. Print.
Douez, Sophie. “Harnessing the potential of tablet technology” swissinfo.ch Mar 25, 2011. swissinfo.ch. Web. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/sci-tech/harnessing-the-potential-of-tablet-technology/29833808
Jacoby, William G. “Public Attitudes towards the sales of Apple’s iPad tablet.” Austrian Journal of the Liberal Markets 38.2 (2013): 3. Print.
Sit, Gee Fung, Chenbin Shen, Holger Storf and Cristian Hofmann. “Application-Oriented Fusion and Aggregation of Sensor Data”. Advanced Technologies and Societal Change (2012): 3-13. Print.
Werner, Franz, Katharina Werner and Johannes Oberzaucher. “Tablets for Seniors: An evaluation of a current model (iPad)”, Ambient Assisted Living: 5. AAL-Kongress 2012 Berlin, Germany, January 24-25, 2012 (Advanced Technologies and Societal Change). New York: Springer, 2012. 177-185. Print.