updated 01:15 pm EST, Fri December 31, 2010
Caris says iPad to hold two thirds of tablets
A new analyst note from Caris & Co. analyst Robert Cihra has forecast that Apple will hold on to its majority market share of tablets in 2011. He expected the iPad to keep 67 percent of the market owing both to the rapid early adoption but also to lag time for rivals, who were sent "back to the drawing board." Like with an iSuppli estimate, Cihra saw the delay giving Apple a head start, even as the tablet market tripled in size to 54 million next year, 36 million of which would be iPads.
Most Android tablet designers are likely waiting until a few months in before releasing their devices, as Google hasn't necessarily finished Honeycomb, or Android 2.4, and thus doesn't have a fully optimized tablet OS. With the exception of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, most pre-Honeycomb tablets have been relegated to niche status or faced teething problems from a lack of optimization. Windows tablets are still a minority and weren't considered a significant factor.
All tablets would have a braking effect on growth not just for netbooks but for the wider computer market, AllThingsD's copy of the note read. With growth estimated at 14 percent this year, it would slow down to nine percent as iPads would not only curb netbook sales but also the tendency to buy multiple computers in some households. Smartphones would remain largely untouched and grow rapidly.
Cihra also guessed that Apple would release the new iPad in March, a month earlier than in 2010. The timing would be deliberate, to establish three-month intervals between iPad releases, new iPhones in June and iPods in September. Apple has usually previewed iOS releases in March or April and might use the timing to preview its software plans along with each new hardware release.