If you hear any new tablet launching which comes with a tag of iPad beater, quash that immediately. There is no challenger to iPad. Not until 2015. Not that we need data to prove it but just in case for the data hungry cynic in you, Gartner has made its projections and iPad’s future is brighter than ever.
Apple is expected to sell, not ship, 46.7 million iPads in 2011. In 2015, Apple will be selling 149 million iPads. In 2015, 116 million Android tablets will be sold. Apple will still hold more than 50% market share through 2015. Now that’s might impressive for a product line which only has one product in its portfolio.
The only good news for Android in the Gartner projection is the lack of a strong third tablet OS alternative. MeeGo and WebOS are as good as dead. Microsoft and QNX are the other viable tablet platforms which will slowly gain market share. Microsoft will sell 4 million tablets in 2012 and 34 million in 2015.
This might not be a failing of Android tablets but a stupendous success of iPad.
Android tablet makers don’t have much of a choice than taking that statement as true and get on with it. That they did but are failing to move in any particular direction. Right now Android tablets are direction less. With Google-Motorola combine, it would be incredible if the new direction comes from that corner. Until then, may be, they can look at Amazon which is due to release a new tablet.
I have argued earlier this month that Android tablet makers can’t go head-on with iPad and shouldn’t even try it because ecosystem is their Achilles heel. Unfortunately, tablet makers are approaching this challenge in a wrong way by throwing in the latest and greatest hardware at these tablets. By now the tablet makers should know that it will not solve their mounting problems. Android tablet makers should have to pick a niche and stick with it. As for iPad, it doesn’t have to do much. Just release it iPad 3. When is that coming by the way?