iPad's Market Share to Dip only Slightly in 2012: Report

By Beecher Tuttle February 22, 2012

The iPad will withstand the flood of Android devices and continue to be the dominant player in the tablet space in 2012, accounting for more than 62 percent of all tablet sales, according to market analysis firm TrendForce.

As the pioneer in the tablet game, Apple's market share is sure to slip each year as more competitors enter the market with rival tablets. This is what makes Tuesday's projections so astounding. With a 66 percent market share in 2011, Apple's dominance is barely waning, even with new devices hitting store shelves every day.

Even more impressive, TrendForce says that the iPad's market share won't drop below 60 percent until 2015, when it will still account for 59.3 percent of all tablets sold. The research firm believes that the iPad 3 – rumored to sport a high resolution display and industry-leading hardware/software integration – will help solidify Apple's position as the market leader.

"The only concern is that iPad 3’s high resolution panel comes with a low yield rate; whether or not the panel production will be enough to supply the market demand remains to be seen," says TrendForce.

Part of the rationale behind the projections is the lack of legitimate competition from rivals. While acknowledging the Kindle Fire's strong fourth quarter, the research firm notes that Amazon's tablet cannot match consumer expectations over the long term.

"In addition, according to the component makers, Amazon’s orders for panels in 1H12 decreased, which suggests at the time being, Kindle Fire is still unable to threaten iPad’s leading position," TrendForce adds.

Android, meanwhile, has failed to make a strong transition to a tablet platform, forcing several manufacturers to look to Microsoft's Windows 8 as an alternative option.

However, even with its famed Microsoft Office suite of apps, Windows 8 has a lot to prove, says TrendForce, "such as whether or not the ARM Windows 8 tablet is able to release as scheduled, the weight and battery life, and whether the software compatibility and interface design cater to the users’ preferences."

The iPad is expected to account for around 59 million of the 94 million tablets sold in 2012.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

TechZone360 Contributor

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