Apple iPad to dominate tablets until 2014

iPad 2

Other tablet makers might want to give up for the next two years, as Apple looks set to dominate the market until 2014.

The iPad is expected to have a 73.4 per cent market share in 2011 and will continue to have more than 50 per cent until 2014, Gartner said.

"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," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

So far, Android's appeal in the tablet market has been constrained by high prices, weak user interface and limited tablet applications.

"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."

Android is growing, yet not as quickly as originally expected. Gartner believes 11 million Android tablets will ship in 2011, accounting for 17.3 per cent of the market, but that's only up from 14.3 per cent in 2010.

The analyst firm cut its forecast for the Android OS by 28 per cent from last quarter's projection.

"So far, Android's appeal in the tablet market has been constrained by high prices, weak user interface and limited tablet applications," 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. Android can count on strong support from key OEMs, has a sizeable developer community, and its smartphones application ecosystem is second only to Apple's."

As for Microsoft Windows 8, Gartner said it expects the OS to gain more leverage in the business market, rather than the consumer space. Gartner said the vendor had arrived a little too late to the game.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.