Gartner Reports Suggests iPad Owned 100% of 2010 Tablet Sales

| Analysis


Monopoly Money

A report from Gartner and some quick math from Joe Wilcox suggests that almost every single media tablet that was actually purchased by consumers during 2010 had an Apple logo on them. Gartner issued a report pegging global spending on tablets by end users in 2010 was US$9.6 billion. Joe Wilcox noted that Apple reported sales of its iPad during the year of $9.566 billion, leaving roughly $33 million for devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.


The math is very, very rough, and Gartner’s methodology isn’t likely to coincide with Apple’s internal accounting. Indeed, comparing these two sets of numbers is quite perilous, but the reality is that it puts a different face on the market share war so far in the market, which is usually measured more by sales into the channel, as opposed to sales to end users.

For instance, in March, competing research firm IDC said that Apple owned 73% of the tablet market in the December quarter of 2010, down from 93% the prior quarter. All told, Apple had 83% share for the full year, but these numbers are all based on sales into the channel. Gartner’s report, on the other hand, focused on spending, the other side of that equation.

Looking ahead, Gartner expects tablet spending to increase to $29.4 billion in 2011, a 206% increase, and the firm believes that tablet spending will increase at an average rate of 52% year-over-year through 2015.

The question will be how much of that spending Apple continues to garner. In 2010, there were few shipping competitors to the iPad, and the market continues to respond slowly to Apple’s genre-defining product, but Motorola shipped Xoom earlier this year, Samsung is likely to get new versions of its Galaxy Tab to market, and Research In Motion is set to ship the BlackBerry PlayBook in April. Other competitors should come online this year, too.

In addition, Google’s Honeycomb version of Android OS — the first version of Android actually intended for tablets — is set to ship shortly, which should allow other competitors to come to market. Will consumers actually buy them? We believe Apple will continue to dominate this market, though we hardly expect the company to maintain nearly 100% of the market (IDC said Apple would maintain 70-80% through 2011, for what that’s worth).

We should also remind our readers that the tablet market is brand new. It hasn’t even been a year since the original iPad shipped. While the marketplace is scrambling to adapt, catch up, and figure out what to do, market research firms like Gartner, IDC, and IHS iSuppli are also in the process of working out how to monitor this new market, how to report their respective findings, and in some cases, even how to define a tablet in the first place.

As such, all reports on market share and spending should be taken with a grain of salt as the industry copes with understanding this new class of device.



Taking all of the caveats you’ve outlined, it’s still really something, if accurate. It would certainly explain the recent moves made by Google and Microsoft scattered across the web today. Apple was very smart this time around. smile

It’ll be interesting to see how things shape up with Android now that the big G is reexamining things. Loving all of the ‘Mac circa 1997’ arguments coming from these companies who have no clue about providing the experience that Apple does with their stuff. I know, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme, but still. Quite fun to watch.


The only other tablet I was able to touch I took for a headache.


Two observations:  Microsoft’s Craig Mundie thinks that tablets in general and the iPad in particular may be a fad.  Well, if so, its one hell of a fad.

The second observation has to do with the Freudian slip in Bryan’s reporting:  “In addition, Google?s Honeycomb version of Android OS ? the first version of Android actually intended for tablets ? is set to [sic] sip shortly . . . .” Sip or suck, tomato or tomato.


I have not seen a non-iPad tablet in the wild.  I’ve seen one Zune though.  I felt sorry for the kid who owned it.

Bryan Chaffin

The second observation has to do with the Freudian slip in Bryan?s reporting:? ?In addition, Google?s Honeycomb version of Android OS ? the first version of Android actually intended for tablets ? is set to [sic] sip shortly . . . .? Sip or suck, tomato or tomato.

Freeudian typo or note, i fixed it. Thanks for catching it. smile


Come on, Samsung.  Show us some numbers!!  How many Tabs are in the hands of consumers?  I suspect we will soon see major price drops as Samsung works to redesign them to be able to compete with the new iPad.





The maths are compelling. We can draw only one conclusion.

Apple should surrender while it still can.

I, for one, am willing, white flag in hand, to hand over my iPad1 to the rebel non-alliance, if only I can figure out to whom among them to surrender. Perhaps to that hairless, portly chap with the Dell logo on his blazer…Sorry, must have dosed off while typing.

Truthfully, I am excited about the prospect of seeing true competition among tablet-enabled Android devices. If my IT team convince me that we can use these for our vaccine and other clinical trials here in the field, and meet FDA requirements, we might just go with that option. Android tablets seem to be available throughout Asia, and we need solutions more robust that yesteryear’s PDAs. But I am going to have to put any such tablet through its paces and be convinced that it does, as they say in this part of the world, “the needful”. Otherwise, we will likely be importing iPads through local Customs, such well-mannered and honest blokes that doing business with them just gives one that certain feeling right there in the middle of one’s bosom (usually followed by CPR).

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