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Days of iPad dominance are numbered

Android-based tablets will be neck and neck with the iPad in terms of sales in 2015, with 87 million and 90 million units shifted respectively, according to forecast figures from Informa Telecoms & Media.

Although Apple has dominated this space since the launch of the iPad in 2010, it’s position is becoming increasingly unstable with the introduction of low-cost Android tablets, the launch of Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and the possibility of major brands such as Amazon launching tablets based on the OS.

“We have seen a huge explosion in the tablet market in recent years, driven primarily by the iPad, and we estimate that the market will go from strength to strength, growing from under 20 million tablets sold in 2010, to over 230 million in 2015,” said David McQueen, principal analyst at Informa.

“We expect Apple to retain its leading market share until 2015 but only just. From 2013, as cheaper and more advanced Android tablets enter the market, we forecast that sales will pick up considerably, eventually surpassing iPad sales in 2016.”

Apple currently has 75 per cent of the market but this will drop to just 39 per cent in 2015. Meanwhile Android will see a huge increase in its market share, as the devices and the ecosystem around the platform improve. By 2015, Android will have 38 per cent market share, putting it on a par with Apple.

“Three factors have proven to be decisive in the success and failure of tablets: brand; access to distribution channels; and product quality, including the application environment offered. At the moment, the iPad leads in all three areas but Apple’s edge is likely to wane as the quality of the competing products and application environments improves,” said McQueen.

Moreover, it is anticipated that once Windows 8.0 is launched, there will be a variety of tablets available in the market based on Intel and ARM architecture, most likely including a Nokia device as well as a number of tablets from the traditional PC vendors.

RIM’s PlayBook, which was met with a lukewarm reception, is expected to show only modest growth early on following its launch as some mobile operators have shown to be reticent to carry the device owing to it initially being wifi only.

Most mobile operators are expected to focus on supporting iOS and Android tablets in line with demand, and their current indifferent support for Windows, BlackBerry OS, WebOS and MeeGo tablets will prove decisive in shaping consumers’ purchasing decisions in the short term. However, it is those devices that can also dominate the consumer-electronics sector and online retail channels as well as nurture their current partnerships with the mobile operators that will win out, said McQueen.

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One comment

  1. Avatar Babar 02/08/2011 @ 7:11 am

    I dont see any point comparing Apple OS with Android at any plateform ….

    how can any body compare 1 guy (Apple) to compete with Several other Guys (Android own products e.g. SE, Samsung, LG, HTC, BB) at the same time ….

    Android it self is unstable OS but still many companies making products based on it …… only because its free …. & any thing which is FREE ….. Always comes with price in the end of the day & we can see many software & security glitches in Android unlike Apple which is more secure, robust & STABLE.

    I say …. lets make competition based on 1 to 1 bases … & then i will see how any company can beat APPLE by 2015 … or by 2025 🙂

    Competition should be on fair grounds.

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