Report: Apple Owns 95% of Tablet Market

Dennis Faas's picture

Just in case there was any doubt that Microsoft desperately needs to oversee the release of several Windows-based slate computers to compete with the Apple iPad, a new report states that, in the fiscal third quarter, the Cupertino-based firm's products accounted for 95 per cent of the tablet market.

In other words, this is Apple's sphere until a PC maker like Hewlett-Packard or IBM can take it back.

The report comes courtesy of Strategy Analytics Inc., a Boston-based research company that also noted an increase in tablet computer shipments by 26 per cent over the previous quarter. It would appear neither the iPad nor tablet hardware is going anywhere at this point.

Competition for the iPad Slim... For Now

Competition for Apple is miniscule. Google Inc.'s Android operating system (OS) claimed a paltry 2 per cent of worldwide tablet shipments. (Source:

But all of this is expected to change very soon. Google has announced Android will be a part of upcoming tablet PCs, including Samsung Electronic Co.'s Galaxy Tab.

The biggest competition for Apple will come from devices running Windows 7, Microsoft's extremely popular OS. In recent weeks tablets running Win7 have hit the ground running; for example, the CTL 2goPAD, a device that sold out within a few days. The real challenge to the iPad will come once big-name hardware makers like Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Research in Motion (RIM, makers of the BlackBerry) get moving on plans to release their own tablet computers.

Market Expected to Triple by 2011

What readers should take away from the Strategy Analytics report is not that Apple is king in the tablet sphere -- rather, that this is a lucrative market that will only grow in the next few years. Already industry analysts at Gartner Inc. have predicted that sales of touchscreen tablet computers will explode by 2011, tripling in number to approximately 54.8 million units.

All that interest in tablets is not coming without a price, however. Recent studies from ChangeWave Research suggest the iPad has hurt netbook sales. In a recent survey, ChangeWave found only 14 per cent of respondents committed to buying a netbook in the next three months, down 10 per cent from June 2009. ChangeWave suggests that a slowly improving economy is pushing some consumers away from the tiny laptops to newer, flashier devices. (Source:

By comparison, 26 per cent of ChangeWave's respondents said they plan on buying a tablet in the future. 80 per cent said it would be an iPad.

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