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.”
Amongst the fawning and feting around the launch of the first Apple iPad in 2010, there were murmured questions about just what niche and purpose the device would fulfill. Turn the clock forward to 2013 and those murmurs have long since ceased, with the latest research from Gartner suggesting that the upward trajectory of the tablet market could see the number of units shipped overtake PCs in 2015.
The appstore model pioneered by Apple will unquestionably become the predominant model for mobile phone users, with remarkable growth prospects in the next few years. Mobile application downloads will exceed 4.5 billion this year, growing to 21.6 billion downloads by 2013. Consumers will spend US$6.2 billion this year in mobile application stores, growing to US$29 billion three years from now. Free applications will continue to account for an ever greater share, growing from 82 per cent of all downloads in 2010, to 87 per cent of downloads by 2013. This year alone, advertising revenue is expected to generate US$600 million worldwide.