Apple’s iPad is going to dominate the tablet market through 2015, according to market research firm Gartner, but the genre-defining device will lose market share all the way. Gartner believes the iPad will take 68.7% of the market in 2011, dip slightly in 2012, and end 2015 with 47.1% of the market, still #1. Over the same period, Garnet believes that Android will have a slow start in the tablet space, but rise to 38.6% of the market at #2 by 2015, while BlackBerry follows a similar, but smaller trajectory to have 10% share in 2015.
In a statement, Gartner analysts said, “Apple iPad did to the tablet PC market what the iPhone did to the smartphone market: re-invented it.” The company said that media tablets aren’t merely a different form of PC, but rather that they, “deliver a richer experience around content consumption, thanks to the ecosystem they support. The richer the ecosystem, the stronger the pull for consumers.”
The company said that companies looking to compete with iPad are trying to do so by, “first delivering on hardware and then trying to leverage the platform ecosystem.”
This is a mistake, according to Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. The analyst echoed this reporter’s analysis saying that, “Tablets will be much more dependent on [applications, services and overall user experience] than smartphones have been, and the sooner vendors realize that the better chance they have to compete head-to-head with Apple.”
Despite that, however, the firm believes that time will allow iPad’s competitors to eventually pick up steam, eroding Apple’s market share while the market explodes. By 2015, Gartner is forecasting Apple to be selling 138.5 million iPads per year. If Apple were to achieve those numbers, the company could be bringing in more than $70 billion per year just in iPad sales (at an average price of $500 each).
|Worldwide Sales of Media Tablets to End Users by OS (Thousands of Units)|
Other Operating Systems
For the BlackBerry PlayBook, Research In Motion is using a new OS called BlackBerry Tablet OS, which is based on QNX, an OS the company acquired early in 2010. Gartner believes, “It will take time and significant effort for RIM to attract developers and deliver a compelling ecosystem of applications and services around QNX to position it as a viable alternative to Apple or Android,” but the firm said if it can do so, it will attract users to the platform.
In addition, early adoption of BlackBerry PlayBook will be limited to organizations (i.e. businesses), particularly those organizations with existing BlackBerry infrastructure.