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Apple’s iPad catalyzing disruptive change

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November 9, 2010

Gartner forecasts Media Tablet Market growth of more than 1000% in the next four years

Gartner forecasts Media Tablet Market growth of more than 1000% in the next four years

It might seem a long time, but the Media Tablet marketplace did not exist until April this year. It soon became obvious that Apple's iPad had catalyzed yet another major computing trend – by Computex, almost every device manufacturer in the world had a tablet coming. Last month, Gartner Group predicted the 20 million sales expected in 2010 will grow an order of magnitude over the next four years. Now Gartner has gone a step further. “It is not usually the role of the CEO to get directly involved in specific technology device decisions, but Apple's iPad is an exception,” says the report. “It is more than just the latest consumer gadget; and CEOs and business leaders should initiate a dialogue with their CIOs about it if they have not already done so.”

Media tablets are slate devices that support touch and run a lightweight OS such as iOS, Android, WebOS or Meego. Apple’s iPad is a media tablet and Samsung’s recently-released Galaxy Tab and the Cisco Cius are other examples.

Gartner’s forecasting and market share report was prepared by Research VP Carolina Milanesi who made some interesting observations on the report in the Gartner Blog.

Why is Gartner so optimistic about this market? “Because media tablets are not mini-notebooks and they are certainly not Tablet PCs. If you think this market will be as small as the mini-notebook market you are looking at media tablets like younger siblings of a PC rather than older siblings of smartphones,” wrote Milanesi. “Media tablets have much more in common with a smartphone than a PC. The usage model is closer to what consumers do with a smartphone while on the go than what they do on a PC when they are at their desk. It is about running applications, playing games, watching video content, reading books and magazines, surfing the web, updating your status on your social network of choice and checking email.

"If you can do all of this without having to take five minutes to boot up, without having to look for a power outlet after a couple of hours cause battery life is nice and long and with a user interface that allows you to easily get to what you need why would you not buy a media tablet? Price might be an inhibitor in the early days but this will soon decrease as competition will get fiercer. The market will soon be flooded by a whole bunch of different models that will offer a variety of operating systems, feature sets, price points and screen sizes.

"We believe that mobile operators will shift their marketing and subsidy from netbooks to media tablets in an attempt to sell more mobile broadband subscriptions. While we expect 7-inch tablets to be popular in the short term due to the limitations of Android and because they are closer to smartphones, we expect that in the long run 10-inch tablets will be more successful as they offer a superior experience."

The punchline though, is the most convincing argument yet. “If you are still worried about the forecast think that in 2014 we forecast that close to 500 million phones with an ASP higher than $300 will be sold around the world. By then many tablets would have fallen considerably below that ASP.”

A detailed statistical outlook for media tablets is available in the Gartner report Forecast: Connected Mobile Consumer Electronics, Worldwide, 2008-2014.

The report is available online for US$1,495.00.

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5 Comments

In the end , the Apple I-Pad is about better software.

Software designed to work with a touch screen and apps.

In many respects any company can get into the operating software development field by creating a smart phone. From there they can expand it to tablets and eventually laptops (laptops with touch screens. Yes it will happen eventually. Why not?).

But what company is? They are all being stupid and sticking with Android. So in the end Apple will continue to dominate because a device is only as good as its software.

Microsoft may eventually get it right. They have the time and money.

But without their own software, all the other companies will always be "also ran's".

-Dennis

www.PrometheusGoneWild

PrometheusGoneWild.com
9th November, 2010 @ 12:02 pm PST

Look out for the iHaters who will rant and rave if it's said that Apple started the consumer tablet market with the iPad. There are those who'll insist that Microsoft was there all along with some crappy Windows desktop OS tablet. BS. Apple sold more iPads in three months than Microsoft and its cohorts sold in ten freaking years. Of course, they'll also say that Apple will only hold onto major market share for just one year because the Android tablet flood will just wash the iPad away. Talk about bold-faced arrogance from companies that didn't even have a clue about tablets for consumers until Apple showed it to them. Those companies were pushing nickel netbooks as the world's greatest mobile platform for the next three years. They sure changed their tune about that nonsense.

I think that Android's tablet domination in market share will be inevitable, but I'm hoping Apple can hold onto their tablet market lead for at least two years. That will give Apple enough operating capital to come up with something even better that will blow the copycats and clones away. Too bad Apple can't lock down intellectual property on it's devices but so far the competitors have easily duplicated everything that Apple has tried to keep for itself. If only Apple could leverage its data center for getting direct feeds to every iOS device available. That would be a huge step and a huge advantage for iOS users everywhere.

Facebook User
9th November, 2010 @ 01:51 pm PST

But the iPad is only a toy! The detractors told us so over and over six months ago, even in Gizmag comments. They were so sure that the iPad would be dead and buried within months, especially after HP trounced it with their Slate. Where are all those commenters now?

Gadgeteer
9th November, 2010 @ 08:18 pm PST

Few points to bear in mind before forecasting future of mobile device are-

1)Consumers love open source and lots of free applications that are simply everyday surprise dose.Even paid applications are cheap not as I os apps.

2) Device integrating portability and functionality in mind. Phones and touch tabets and Portable Play Station .Sony's phone with PSP and touch screen display with Android os.Tis will change the game.

ANDROID is Ultimate OS with supports to flash and all round compatibility platform.

freanchie_utkarsh
9th November, 2010 @ 08:27 pm PST

@freanchie

"Consumers love open source" Nope they are told that the like it, truth be told they prefer stuff that works.

"ANDROID is Ultimate OS with supports to flash and all round compatibility platform."

But even Google are saying that it is not right for a tablet.

RattyUK
10th November, 2010 @ 06:38 am PST
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