Gartner today revised their tablet numbers in the face of iPad’s dominance and weakening competition. Of the 63.6 million media tablets projected to ship this year, Gartner expects Apple’s iPad to account for nearly three-quarters of the global market, of 73.4 percent. The figure is based on an estimated 47 million iPads this year, a 9.6 percentage points drop from the 83 percent market share in 2010.

Apple is totally killing it and the company is seen retaining its 50+ percent market share lead until 2014. Why? Apple’s legendary ease of use, Gartner explains:

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. Apple had the foresight to create this market and in doing that planned for it as far as component supplies such as memory and screen. This allowed Apple to bring the iPad out at a very competitive price and no compromise in experience among the different models that offer storage and connectivity options.

Wow, some nice words there – and from a research firm, too! As for Android, about eleven million Android tablets should ship in the calendar year 2011 for a 17.3 percent market share. And check out this quote on Google’s software:

Gartner has pared back its estimates for Android tablet sales in 2011 by 28% over last quarter’s projections, identifying extremely weak adoption due to high prices, user interface issues, and limited app offerings. Only some success in low-cost Asian markets and strong expectations for Amazon’s forthcoming tablet kept Gartner from slashing projected Android device sales even further.

At the same time, notebook players tell DIGITIMES, an Asian trade publication, they aren’t being so sure that Google’s upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich software will move the needle for Android tablets. Of course, as with any research – take this one with a grain of salt.

You may recall that Strategy Analytics measured Android’s share of the tablet market at nearly one-third back in July. A lot has happened since, including the downfall of HP’s TouchPad and lackluster sales of Research In Motion’s PlayBook tablet which shipped only 200,000 units in the last quarter. We’re also hearing that the seven-inch Android tablet from Amazon will have a hard time selling in the millions, per latest checks from Asia. One note about the MeeGo numbers…


Besides iOS and Android, no other platform in Gartner’s table has more than five percent share of the tablet market in 2011.

It is no secret Intel and Nokia are abandoning MeeGo, their Linux-based open source mobile operating system project. That being said, Gartner’s MeeGo estimates seem a bit.. off. True, 500,000 MeeGo phones in 2012 isn’t that many anyway and the research firm did model for a huge drop in 2015 MeeGo shipments. In all, we’d advise focusing on 2012 estimates because 2015 is a total blind dart throw.

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