iPad Expected To Be Popular Tablet for Years to Come - Beating out Rivals

By Ed Silverstein April 12, 2011

Apple’s iPad will be a dominant product among tablet computers over the next few years, according to a new study.

Strong iPad sales also have led to Apple’s iOS making up some 69 percent of media tablet operating systems during this year, Gartner says in a statement.

It will also make up 47 percent of the media tablet market in 2015, Gartner predicts. And some 83 percent of the tablets sold in 2011 will run Apple's iOS, Gartner said.

The early success of the iPad last year led to several rival companies developing their own versions of the tablet. But the competitors have a strong rival in the iPad, and Apple recently introduced its second version.

TechZone360 CEO Rich Tehrani said that there were long lines for consumers looking to buy the iPad 2 last month.

“It is obvious that Apple has built tremendous consumer trust and if a tablet manufacturer even dreams of penetrating Apple's massive market share they need to way over deliver,” Tehrani said in his blog on TechZone360.

In addition, Google's Android operating system – which is used in the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xoom – comes in second place for 2011, with a 14.2 percent market share, according to the Gartner study. By 2015, the Android will get 38.7 percent of market share compared with Apple's top-ranked 47.1 percent.

Research In Motion’s QNX operating system, which will be offered in 2012, will by 2015 be in third place with a 10 percent market share, Gartner said.

Gartner also predicted that Google’s Android operating system will up its global share of the tablet market from 20 percent this year to 39 percent in 2015.

In addition, analysts from Gartner compared the iPad’s impact on the tablet PC market to the iPhone’s impact on the smartphone market.

“Seeing the response from both consumers and enterprises to the iPad, many vendors are trying to compete by first delivering on hardware and then trying to leverage the platform ecosystem,” Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said in a press release. “Many, however, are making the same mistake that was made in the first response wave to the iPhone, as they are prioritizing hardware features over applications, services and overall user experience. Tablets will be much more dependent on the latter than smartphones have been, and the sooner vendors realize that the better chance they have to compete head-to-head with Apple.”

By Google not opening up the Honeycomb – which was developed for tablets – to third parties “will prevent fragmentation, but it will also slow the price decline and ultimately cap market share,” according to Gartner analysts.

Platforms like MeeGo and WebOS, which are relatively weak in the smartphone market, continue to have restricted appeal among buyers, Gartner said.

“Smartphone users will want to buy a tablet that runs the same operating system as their smartphone. This is so that they can share applications across devices as well as for the sense of familiarity the user interfaces will bring,” Milanesi said. “Vendors developing on Android should be prepared to see more cross brand ownership as some users might put OS over brand when it comes to the purchasing decision. Improvements on usability and brand recognition are the strongest differentiators they can focus on.”

Gartner’s “Forecast: Media Tablets by Open Operating System, Worldwide, 2008-2015” is available on the firm’s website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=1624614

Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

TechZone360 Contributor

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