Apple to hold over 73% of the total market share in 2011
Worldwide media tablet sales to end users are on pace to total 63.6 million units in 2011, an increase of 261.4% from 2010 sales of 17.6 million units, according to IT research firm Gartner.
Gartner said that media tablet sales will continue to experience strong growth through 2015 when sales are forecast to reach 326.3 million units.
A share of 73.4% will be occupied by Apple to the worldwide media tablet sales in 2011, a decline of 9.6% from the share in 2010.
Gartner research vice president Carolina Milanesi said they expect Apple to maintain a market share lead throughout their forecast period by commanding more than 50% of the market until 2014.
"This is because Apple delivers a superior and unified user experience across its hardware, software and services. Unless competitors can respond with a similar approach, challenges to Apple’s position will be minimal," Milanesi said.
Android tablets are on pace to ship 11 million units in 2011, accounting for 17.3% of media tablet sales, slightly up from Android’s 2010 market share of 14.3%, Gartner said.
Gartner has lowered its forecast for Android OS by 28% from the last quarter’s projection.
Milanesi said, "Google will address the fragmentation of Android across smartphone and tablet form factors within the next Android release, known as ‘Ice Cream Sandwich,’ which we expect to see in the fourth quarter of 2011."
Research In Motion’s QNX OS is a promising platform, but it is still in the early stages of development, and poses a challenge to attract more support from application developers.
Gartner analysts said it’s important that vendors in 2012 to concentrate on delivering a rich user experience based on a strong tie between smartphones and tablets, a good set of apps, an intuitive user interface, and the ability to share content easily between devices.
"Most of Apple’s competitors are struggling to meet Apple’s prices without considerably sacrificing margins. Screen quality and processing power are the two hardware features that vendors cannot afford to compromise on," said Gartner principal analyst Roberta Cozza.