iPad to enjoy 73.4 percent of media tablet market, says Gartner report

iPad to enjoy 73.4 percent of media tablet market, says Gartner report

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Worldwide media tablet sales to end users are on pace to total 63.6 million units, a 261.4 percent increase from 2010 sales of 17.6 million units, according to Gartner, Inc. Media tablet sales will continue to experience strong growth through 2015 when sales are forecast to reach 326.3 million units.

Apple’s iPad is projected to account for 73.4 percent of worldwide media tablet sales in 2011, down from 83 percent share in 2010. Beyond Apple iOS and the Android operating system (OS), Gartner does not expect any other platforms to have more than 5 percent share of the tablet market in 2011.

“We expect Apple to maintain a market share lead throughout our forecast period by commanding more than 50 percent of the market until 2014,” Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “This is because Apple delivers a superior and unified user experience across its hardware, software and services. Unless competitors can respond with a similar approach, challenges to Apple’s position will be minimal. Apple had the foresight to create this market and in doing that planned for it as far as component supplies such as memory and screen. This allowed Apple to bring the iPad out at a very competitive price and no compromise in experience among the different models that offer storage and connectivity options.”

Android tablets are on pace to ship 11 million units in 2011 (see Table 1), accounting for 17.3 percent of media tablet sales. This is up only slightly from Android’s 2010 market share of 14.3 percent. Gartner’s forecast for the Android OS has been lowered by 28 percent from last quarter’s projection. The reduction would have been greater had it not been for the success of lower-end tablets in Asia, and the expectations around the launch of Amazon’s tablet.

“So far, Android’s appeal in the tablet market has been constrained by high prices, weak user interface and limited tablet applications” Ms. Milanesi said. “Google will address the fragmentation of Android across smartphone and tablet form factors within the next Android release, known as ‘Ice Cream Sandwich,’ which we expect to see in the fourth quarter of 2011. Android can count on strong support from key OEMs, has a sizeable developer community, and its smartphones application ecosystem is second only to Apple’s.”

Table 1
Worldwide Sales of Media Tablets to End Users by OS (Thousands of Units)

 OS

2010

2011

2012

2015

Android

2,512

11,020

22,875

116,444

iOS

14,685

46,697

69,025

148,674

MeeGo

179

476

490

197

Microsoft

0

0

4,348

34,435

QNX

0

3,016

6,274

26,123

WebOS

0

2,053

0

0

Other Operating Systems

235

375

467

431

Total Market

17,610

63,637

103,479

326,304

Source: Gartner (September 2011)

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