Gartner Predicts “Free Run” For iPad As Apple Enters Q4, 2011 – [PRESS RELEASE]

Gartner Predicts “Free Run” For iPad As Apple Enters Q4, 2011 – [PRESS RELEASE]


Photo Credit: United Press International

Citing that competitors “continue to lag,” well-respected market research firm Gartner today outed a new report in which it suggested that Apple’s highly popular tablet device, the iPad, is likely to experience a “free run” of sales as the Cupertino company moves into its holiday quarter.

According to the report, (at least for the time being), Gartner expects Apple to maintain its position of holding the majority share of the worldwide tablet market. In fact, in the long-term, the company expects Apple will hold this position until around 2014.

“We expect Apple to maintain a market share lead throughout our forecast period by commanding more than 50 percent of the market until 2014,” Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “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. 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.”

Alongside predicting Apple’s movements in the market this year, Gartner was also keen to provide an update on its backing of the Android tablet market, for which is raised its sales estimates from the previous quarter, by 28%.

Android tablets are on pace to ship 11 million units in 2011 (see Table 1), accounting for 17.3 percent of media tablet sales. This is up only slightly from Android’s 2010 market share of 14.3 percent. Gartner’s forecast for the Android OS has been lowered by 28 percent from last quarter’s projection. The reduction would have been greater had it not been for the success of lower-end tablets in Asia, and the expectations around the launch of Amazon’s tablet.

Today’s report from Gartner follows a report by the IDC just a week or so ago, in which the market watchers claimed Apple had manged to capture 68 percent of the worldwide tablet market in the second quarter of this year, up from the previous 65 percent Apple managed to capture the previous quarter.

While Android is expected to see some traction with Google’s planned public release of “Ice Cream Sandwich”, (Android OS’s next major update), next year, Gartner notes that sales of Android tablets are unlikely to reach that of Apple’s iPad, before the end of 2015.

Full press release embedded below.

Press Release

Gartner Special Report Examines How Media Tablet Market Will Continue to Evolve

STAMFORD, Conn., September 22, 2011— Worldwide media tablet sales to end users are on pace to total 63.6 million units, a 261.4 percent increase from 2010 sales of 17.6 million units, according to Gartner, Inc. Media tablet sales will continue to experience strong growth through 2015 when sales are forecast to reach 326.3 million units.

Apple’s iPad is projected to account for 73.4 percent of worldwide media tablet sales in 2011, down from 83 percent share in 2010. Beyond Apple iOS and the Android operating system (OS), Gartner does not expect any other platforms to have more than 5 percent share of the tablet market in 2011.

Android tablets are on pace to ship 11 million units in 2011 (see Table 1), accounting for 17.3 percent of media tablet sales. This is up only slightly from Android’s 2010 market share of 14.3 percent. Gartner’s forecast for the Android OS has been lowered by 28 percent from last quarter’s projection. The reduction would have been greater had it not been for the success of lower-end tablets in Asia, and the expectations around the launch of Amazon’s tablet.

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