updated 11:45 am EDT, Wed August 25, 2010
Study shows Apple iPad keeping majority for years
The iPad should keep a majority hold on the tablet market for at least the next two years, iSuppli said in a new estimate today. Apple's slate should get 74.1 percent of the market in 2010 and is still predicted to hold on to a dominating 61.7 percent of the market by 2012. Such a lead would come even with the entire Windows tablet PC market in play as well as a wave of new challengers expected to hit in 2011.
Researchers made the call based both on Apple's existing sales as well as the historical pattern established by the iPhone. Although competitors reached the market as soon as the same year and have included signature phones like the T-Mobile G1 and Palm Pre, it wasn't until this year that phones like the Motorola Droid X could provide enough competition to Apple to pose a significant threat. Apple's advantage in tablets is even larger as it had only to face a weak Windows tablet market and will have had a near-monopoly for the larger part of 2010.
iPad competition will be ready this year as well and will include the Samsung Galaxy Tab and possibly RIM's BlackPad, but even HP's webOS tablet isn't due to ship until 2011. iSuppli's Rhoda Alexander added that many competitors might still have trouble, as Apple has the unique advantage of knowing the screen size and input it can work with. Others often have to optimize apps themselves as they will have different displays and other expectations.
Android tablets face the most difficult path as most so far just use an off-the-shelf Google interface and are unlikely to have a large number of tablet-sized apps; Apple may already have more than 25,000 and has creative apps for art and music that might not reach Google.