Despite the rumblings from companies looking to knock the iPad off its pedestal, Apple will dominate the tablet market at least through 2012, one analyst believes. The iPad will account for 74.1 percent of worldwide tablet sales in 2010 with the figure slipping to 61.7 percent of the market by 2012.
“If recent history is a lesson, it will take some time for these companies to get their products to market, longer for them to offer necessary software support and infrastructure, and an even lengthier period to begin to rival the overall user experience Apple is able to deliver,” Rhoda Alexander, iSuppli monitor research director, announced.
Acer Chairman JT Wang may disagree with Ms. Alexander’s assessment. Earlier this week, Wang said he sees Apple’s share of the tablet market falling to 20-30 percent once things stabilize.
The factor keeping Apple ahead of rivals is what Alexander calls the iPad’s “complete integration of hardware, software, operating system and applications.”
This doesn’t mean competitors are standing still. Indeed, iSuppli sees rivals “devoting enormous resources to challenge and topple Apple’s domination in this fast-growing market.” HP will likely be the iPad’s first challenger, although a tablet device is not expected before 2011.
Apple’s perennial nemesis, Google, likely won’t offer a Chrome OS-based tablet in time for the all-important Black Friday sales, November 26, according to Alexander. In fact, her sources tell her Chrome OS currently does not support touch screens.