Healthy appetite for tablets spurs growth

The growing popularity of tablet devices such as the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab will help portable internet devices hit shipment levels of around 150 million per year by 2015. The main driver of this growth is the versatility of a form factor that will either see the tablet used as a third device where there is a high penetration of PCs or as the primary computing device where there is low penetration.

According to analyst firm Ovum, which tracks devices based on ‘lite’ operating systems such as Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and RIM’s BlackBerry Tablet OS, Asia Pacific markets are expected to comprise 35 per cent of the global total for such devices by 2015, up from 20 per cent in 2010. Actual shipments in this region will grow from 2.8 million in 2010 to a hefty 52 million in 2015.

North America will account for 23 per cent of global shipments, while Western Europe will take 19 per cent by 2015.

Tony Cripps, Ovum principal analyst, believes Google’s operating systems, primarily Android but also Chrome OS, will dominate the market by 2015, pushing current frontrunner Apple’s iOS into second place.

“We believe that Apple constituted 90 per cent of the market in 2010. However, by 2015 we expect this market share to drop to 35 per cent and Google’s market share to rise to 36 per cennt. Other software platforms, such as RIM’s Blackberry Tablet OS and HP’s webOS, will find some success but between them all they will only account for 29 per cent of the market.“

According to Cripps, this is because the dominant software platforms, developed by Apple and Google, will attract the most attention from the cream of the developers. As a result they will have the best, most talked about applications and content and, when all is said and done, this is what people will consider when making a purchasing decision.


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