updated 12:10 pm EST, Wed December 14, 2011
Merrill Lynch estimates iPad, Android real winners
Merrill Lynch analyst Scott Craig in a research note estimated that 2012 would see multiple tablet designers cut out of the market. RIM would be the primary victim, as its poor BlackBerry PlayBook sales had not only lacked momentum but created a ripple effect where developers didn't write apps. In his projection, the analyst saw the PlayBook as non-existent in 2012's market share.
Craig went on to pinpoint Acer and ASUS as likely to flame out, as they were squeezed at the high end by the iPad and below by the Amazon Kindle Fire. Although he didn't provide direct sources, he understood that there was a serious gap between how many they shipped to stores and how many actually sold, one that could see both Acer and ASUS scale back in 2012. "We do not believe the disconnect between sell-in and sell-through of these tablets is sustainable," he said of both companies.
AMD would also be on the bad end as it's dependent primarily on low-end notebooks, the area most likely to be hit by tablets.
The winners would be familiar from late 2011. Apple would still have the majority, even into 2013. Android would gain share, but despite assumptions about Android, it would still remain the minority even two years out. Nearly half of Android's share would come from the Kindle Fire. Samsung would be both the main Android tablet designer but also profit by supplying parts to everyone, including Apple.
The only other major platform to register in this view would be Windows 8, which would get significant share in 2013. Despite Microsoft's attempt to revive Windows tablets, though, they would remain a clear minority even relative to Android. No reasons were given, although their newness to the market, relative lack of apps, and expected high prices may hurt their chances.