The market for tablet computers continues to evolve, and we expect it to remain dynamic and changing over the next 2-3 years. We do believe that the push by Intel to make notebooks more tablet-like via its Ultrabook initiative will have some impact on tablets, but will ultimately have more impact on the notebook market. The push by phone manufacturers to “up size” their displays will have a greater impact on tablets, particularly those with display sizes of less than 7 inches, but we expect tablets to remain a distinct category primarily for consuming rich media, gaming and web interaction. We further expect that there will be many new entrants into the tablet space targeting lower end consumer devices, and that low price points (<$200) will take a large part of the market for consumer devices, while higher end (>$400) devices will remain popular with business users. The increasing pressure from Ultrabooks and tablets will essentially push Netbooks into a small niche market with shrinking market share.
Although iPads will continue to dominate the tablet market in the short term, by 2014-15 we expect Android tablets to acquire a majority share of the consumer market as the number of vendors and variety of models overwhelm the iPad. But iPad will continue to hold the largest share of the enterprise market where specialized features built into some Android tablets will be valued but which will take longer to gain share. Windows-powered tablets will primarily make inroads in enterprises over this period of time, but will eventually be a viable third choice for the consumer marketplace as well. RIM’s QNX (BlackBerry 10/PlayBook OS) will take a reasonable share of the enterprise market especially in security conscious industries and governments (while also being embedded in automotive and other products), while other primarily Linux-derived and/or HTML5-centric OSes (e.g., Tizen, Chrome) will claim a minor share of the market.
Below we provide a graphic representation of what we expect the market share of the various tablet platforms to be in the 2014/2015 timeframe.
These projections are predicated on current product directions and roadmaps, but could be impacted dramatically by unknown factors (e.g., security flaws, hardware platform performance, supply disruptions, regulations, wireless carriers).
Jack E. Gold
J.Gold Associates, LLC.
Research, Analysis, Strategic Consulting