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Gartner: Apple will dominate tablets until 2015

According to market research firm Gartner, the current success of the Apple iPad means Apple will account for more than half of the media tablet market through the year 2015. That might seem like a bold prediction, but Gartner claims that, like the iPhone before it, the iPad essentially defined its own market and it’s going to take years before the rest of the industry retools and can compete effectively against it. And in 2015, Gartner forecasts, Apple will still account for 47 percent of the media tablet market.

“Seeing the response from both consumers and enterprises to the iPad, many vendors are trying to compete by first delivering on hardware and then trying to leverage the platform ecosystem,” said Gartner research VP Carolina Milanesi, in a statement. “Many, however, are making the same mistake that was made in the first response wave to the iPhone, as they are prioritizing hardware features over applications, services, and overall user experience.”

Gartner media tablet forecast thru 2015
Image used with permission by copyright holder

According to Gartner, Apple’s iOS will account for 63.5 percent of the “media tablet” market in 2012—down from 68.7 percent this year—and slide to a 47.1 percent share by 2015. Android, in the meantime, will see it’s share climb from 19.9 percent this year to 24.4 percent in 2012, finally reaching 38.6 percent in 2015. Gartner seems BlackBerry’s QNX platform garnering 5.6 percent of the tablet market this year—which might be a neat trick—rising to 6.6 percent in 2012 and 10 percent by 2015.

Gartner sees all other current players in the tablet market staying in the low single digits through 2015, with webOS creeping up to a 3 percent share and MeeGo managing a 1 percent share by 2015—and that will actually be a decline from a forecast peak of 1.2 percent in 2012.

Curiously, Gartner’s forecast doesn’t consider any other operating systems worthy of calling out by name—and that includes Microsoft Windows and Windows Phone platforms.

Gartner’s definition of a “media tablet” is a touchscreen device with a screen measuring over 5 inches diagonally, omitting devices like the Apple iPod touch and other portable media and Internet devices built on other platforms.

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Adrian Diaconescu
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