updated 04:05 pm EDT, Mon October 4, 2010
Apple said to be 12-18 months ahead
Despite the large number of new tablets set to arrive on the market before the holidays, Apple is expected to continue to widen its lead over the competition, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore. The company's tablet content, which includes the range of iPad-enabled titles in the App Store, is said to be at least 12 to 18 months beyond any alternative platform.
"We believe Apple's lead in the tablet market will prove difficult to close by the onslaught of competing products coming over the next several quarters," says Whitmore. "Ultimately, we expect the slew of upcoming competition to fall flat from a user experience standpoint while stuggl[ing] to materially undercut the iPad on price."
Whitmore's comments echo Stifel Financial analyst Doug Reid, who recently pointed out that only one of the iPad's likely competitors has arrived on the market. Among the announced devices soon to ship, all are said to combine first-generation hardware with operating systems "entirely unproven relative to Apple's nearly 4-year old iOS."
The iPad also appears to have an impact beyond the tablet market, reducing sales numbers for netbooks and even computers. A recent report suggests 13 percent of iPad buyers decided to purchase the tablet instead of a computer, while Best Buy admitted that the device may be slashing netbook sales in half.
Analysts have placed wide ranging bets regarding future iPad shipments, however some forecasts anticipate sales to push past 13 million this year and continue past 25 million in 2011. [via Fortune]