Apple to 'dominate tablets for years'
Gartner estimates suggest that Apple will still be the dominant force in tablet computing in 2015
Apple’s iPad and its iOS operating system are likely to dominate tablet computing at least until 2015, and own more than half the market at least until 2012, Gartner analysts have predicted.
“Despite mounting competition from other operating systems, Apple’s iOS will continue to own the majority of the worldwide media tablet through 2015,” the firm said.
Gartner added that it was primarily the extensive ecosystem of accessories and apps that will be key to Apple’s strength. “The richer the ecosystem, the stronger the pull for consumers,” the firm added.
Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said that many of Apple’s rivals “are making the same mistake that was made in the first response wave to the iPhone, as they are prioritising hardware features over applications, services and overall user experience.
Tablets will be much more dependent on the latter than smartphones have been, and the sooner vendors realise that the better chance they have to compete head-to-head with Apple.”
Although analysts generally agree that Google’s Android operating system will increase its market share rapidly, opinion is divided on when it will become the dominant force. Stuart Orr, from Accenture, said that he thought the end of this year would be a “tipping point” in favour of Google.
Gartner, however, believe that the OS will only increase its worldwide share of the media tablet market from 20pc in 2011 to 39pc in 2015.
They said that “Google’s decision not to open up the Honeycomb, its first OS version dedicated to tablets, to third parties will prevent fragmentation, but it will also slow the price decline and ultimately cap market share”.
Gartner added that the new BlackBerry tablet operating system, QNX, would reach 10pc market share by 2015. Ms Milanesi said “It will be mainly organisations that will be interested in RIM’s tablets because they either already have RIM’s infrastructure deployed or have stringent security requirements.”
Other platforms such as MeeGo and WebOS, which currently have a weak presence in the phone market, will have a limited appeal unless they can grow that business, Gartner also said.
“Smartphone users will want to buy a tablet that runs the same operating system as their smartphone. This is so that they can share applications across devices as well as for the sense of familiarity the user interfaces will bring,” said Ms Milanesi.