Apple’s iPad will control at least a 50% share of the tablet market until 2015, analyst company Gartner has predicted.
Tablet sales will reach 64 million units this year, Gartner predicts, up 260% from 2010, and iPads will account for 73% of those sales.
As the tablet market grows to 330 million in 2015 – an 1800% increase from 2010 – Apple’s market share will fall to 46%.
Competing tablet providers will struggle to make a dent in Apple’s market dominance until they succeed in offering products and services that are as well integrated, said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. "Apple delivers a superior and unified user experience across its hardware, software and services," she said. "Unless competitors can respond with a similar approach, challenges to Apple’s position will be minimal."
Only 11 million tablets based on Google’s Android operating systems will ship this year, Gartner expects. At 17% of the market, this up just 3 percentage points from last year. “So far, Android’s appeal in the tablet market has been constrained by high prices, weak user interface and limited tablet applications," said Milanesi.
Gartner expects RIM’s PlayBook tablets and forthcoming devices based on Microsoft’s Windows 8 to gradually grow their market shares to 8% and 10% respectively over the next four years, while WebOS will disappear altogether thanks to HP’s decision to scrap its TouchPad devices.