Acer Chairman J.T. Wang
Apple may be king of the tablet market with its iPad, but as that market stabilizes, Apple see its share drop to 20%-30%, according to a prediction from Acer chairman J.T. Wang. In an interview with Chinese-language Economic Daily News (covered by English-language DigiTimes), Mr. Wang said that history has shows that closed platforms like Apple’s iPad will eventually lose to open systems like the Android platform.
It would appear that someone forgot to get that memo to Apple’s closed Mac platform, which while occupying a small percentage of the computer market, dominates the profitable high-end of that market. The Mac platform has also gained market share for the last several years, even while PC prices from companies like Acer have plummeted.
Mr. Wang isn’t alone in believing that the Android platform will eventually surpass iOS — this reporter has said it’s when, not if, Android gets bigger than iPhone, for instance — though he is the first to boldly make that pronouncement for the tablet market where Apple is effectively competing all alone.
The real question for Apple is not whether it can dominate smartphones like it dominates digital media devices with its iPod, but whether or not it can maintain enough market share to ensure developers continue to make apps for its mobile platforms, and to ensure that it dominates the high end of the market where the profits are.
It’s the latter part of the equation that those companies who bought into Microsoft’s open licensing business model — and now Google’s even more open licensing model with Android — have traditionally ignored.