Though it’s well known that the new iPad is literally hotter than its iPad 2 predecessor, I never had any doubt that Apple’s new offering will be enough to fend off the tablet onslaught going forward. In fact, as my fellow blogger Jeff Weiner aptly put it – it’s not just about the product itself — “Apple knows how to sell a product and when to sell a product and the new iPad once again dominate the tablet market.”
Gartner yesterday published a report which indicates that Apple will continue to dominate the tablet market for the next few years, although Android and Microsoft will start to mount a significant challenge. The report sees Apple leading the tablet market with 169.7 million units by 2016 – thereby maintaining a more than 45 per cent worldwide share of the booming sector.
Gartner expects the tablet sales to end users to reach 118.9 million units in 2012, up 98% from 2011 with Apple expected to take about 61 percent of the market. Google’s Android would account for 32 percent while Microsoft will begin to make its presence felt with 4 percent of the market in 2012. Even though the research firm expects Microsoft’s market share to rise gradually, it is only expect to surpass 11.8 percent in 2016 due to lack of consumer appeal. The report predicts that RIM will make annual sales of almost 18m QNX machines in 2016.
“Despite PC vendors and phone manufacturers wanting a piece of the pie and launching themselves into the media tablet market, so far, we have seen very limited success outside of Apple with its iPad,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “As vendors struggled to compete on price and differentiate enough on either the hardware or ecosystem, inventories were built and only 60 million units actually reached the hands of consumers across the world. The situation has not improved in early 2012, when the arrival of the new iPad has reset the benchmark for the product to beat.”
The report indicates that lack of applications dedicated to tablets has hurt all iPad rivals including Android. Additionally, the concerns over fragmentation continue to hurt the Android ecosystem on a whole.
Interestingly, Gartner echoes the popular sentiment that tablets will soon rival PCs as the primary computing device in many areas in the coming years as the industry completely shifts to a new more mobile paradigm. Gartner analysts said enterprise sales of media tablets will account for about 35 percent of total tablet sales sold in 2015.
I’m already beginning to wonder if my iPad (aka the new iPad or the would-have-been iPad 3) would be of any use by 2016? Your guess is as good as mine.