Apple iPad 2 Rivals Should Target European Market

Tablet makers looking for a chance to rival Apple's iPad, should focus on the European market, according to research outfit Forrester.

According to some recent analysis by the firm, Europe offers the best opportunity for rival tablet makers to compete with runaway leader Apple, since the company's presence on the continent is less menacing: Apple has only 52 stores in Europe compared to 238 in US.

A survey carried out by Forrester of 14,000 European consumers, reveals that between 2 and 7 per cent own a tablet (highest ownership in Spain, lowest in France) while 10 to 14 per cent plan on buying one (highest interest in Germany). Forrester sees Apple grabbing 80% of the US market share and 70% of the European market in 2011. Europe will account for around 30% of global tablet sales this year.

"There is this opportunity for iPad challengers, but the competition is very fragmented. Competing with Apple will require a different approach from what we've seen so far," said analyst Sarah Rotman Epps.

In order to remain competitive, tablet makers such as Samsung, Acer and Research in Motion would need to cut their prices, but at the same time offer sufficient quality. "A competitor to Apple would have to put together the right content, the right price and the right channel strategy. There isn't anyone that has all three," Rotman Epps said.

Interestingly, the price of the iPad 2 for European consumers starts from $702, compared to $499 in the US for the same tablet.