Apple lost tablet market share in the 4th quarter of 2011, but that was nothing more than a speed bump, according to research firm IHS. The company issued a report on Wednesday that said Apple’s domination of the tablet market in 2012 will be “no contest,” and pinned the company’s advantage on its whole widget model.
“The key to Apple’s media-tablet success has been its offering of a complete hardware-plus-content ecosystem,” Rhoda Alexander, director for monitors and tablets research at IHS, said in a statement. “The combination of a good-looking device, well-designed applications, video, books and music has provided consumers with an easy-to-use product and an appealing use case.”
She also noted that it took Apple years to put all of this together, beginning with Apple’s launch of the iTunes Music Store in 2003 when the company was focused on the iPod. More importantly, she said, “It’s proving to be a challenge for the company’s competitors to replicate it.”
The chart below shows IHS’s total tablet projections out through 2016.
Chart by The Mac Observer from IHS Data
IHS is projecting Apple to claim 61 percent of the media tablet market in 2012. That’s up from 55.1 percent in the December quarter, when Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which is technically an Android device, leapt out of the gate with a hot quarter. Since then, Kindle Fire has cooled off, and IHS believes that Android’s share of the market will slip from 41.1 percent in Q4 2011 to 38.4 percent for all of 2012.
We should note that IHS’s overall Apple share predictions have decreased since August of 2011, when the firm was projecting that Apple would have 74 percent of the market in 2012.
IHS is among a growing number of firms and analysts saying that supply-side sources are claiming that Apple will be releasing a 7.8” iPad later in 2012 (other sources are specifying a 7.85” device). In Wednesday’s report, the company said it will be released in 2012, and that Apple will use the same premium-quality pricing strategy that has left the 9.7” iPad tops in tablets.