After being caught completely unprepared for the iPad’s debut, this Christmas season is looking to be a slugfest between different electronics companies each aiming to out iPad the other.
What’s the outcome going to be? According to Acer chairman JT Wang speaking to the Chinese language paper the Economic Daily News, Wang said that by the time the tablet market “stabilizes” Apple’s share will plummet from almost 100 percent to close to 20-30 percent.
While we’re skeptical that the drop will be quite so profound, this isn’t really news that Apple fans should be discouraged by. Apple barely controls 15% of the smartphone market. Android, in comparison, controls 17%, RIM 18% and Symbian a whopping 41% of the smartphone market. But so what? That hasn’t stopped Apple from making billions off of the iPhone. It hasn’t stopped the iPhone from leading the way in the mobile arena. And even though Apple’s in fourth place, it hasn’t stopped the iPhone from being absolutely synonymous with the very definition of a smartphone. iPhone is in a class by itself.
The same thing’s going to happen here. Everyone is going to release a poorly realized tablet to compete with the iPad, and since they can’t license iOS, they’ll install Android, webOS or Windows on their devices. I have no doubt that, very quickly, those operating systems will be fatter slices on the tablet marketshare pie chart than iOS will be… but so what? There’ll still only be one iPad; all the other tablets will just be competing with each other.