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Android tablets to lead iPad by 2014, says study

Mar 4, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Despite the iPad's huge lead, an RBC study projects that 40 percent of the 185 million units expected to ship in 2014 will run Android, followed by the iPad with 34 percent. Meanwhile, however, the iPad 2 unveiling was sufficiently impressive to impel a Samsung VP to say his company was rethinking certain “inadequate” features of its Android 3.0-based Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.

Apple sold 15 million iPads from April to December last year, and every major PC and smartphone manufacturer has since set plans in motion to launch a competing device of its own. Think the tablet market is crazy already? The really intense figures are yet to come. According to a Mar. 4 report from RBC analyst Mike Abramsky, only 0.3 percent of the world's population has so far bought a tablet, leaving a big, big market out there of potential purchasers.

By 2014, Abramsky expects that more than 400 million people will own tablets, with 185 million units shipping in 2014. And while Apple may for now dominate the field — holding more than 90 percent of the worldwide market share, according to recent estimates by ABI Research — Abramsky projects that 40 percent of 2014's sales will be tablets running Android.

According to Abramsky, in 2014, Apple's OS will follow the Google-backed Android, with 34 percent market share. Next up, with 13 percent, will come Microsoft Windows, followed by RIM's BlackBerry, with 8 percent, and HP's WebOS, with a 5 percent share.

The reason for Android's lead will be its "broader support from OEMs and carriers and expected budget-priced Android tablets from Asia," writes Abramsky in research note published this week. Currently, the best-selling Android tablet appears to be the seven-inch, Android 2.2 Samsung Galaxy Tab, although Android 2.x tablet sales are expected to be eclipsed by 10.1-inch Android 3.0 tablets running on dual-core processors. These include the Motorola Xoom and the upcoming Toshiba Tablet (pictured above, at right).

Deloitte projected Jan. 18 that Apple, Motorola, and Samsung will help to fuel a trend that will mark 2011 as a "tipping point" for tablet sales. In another report the same day, research firm IDC said it expects tablet growth to "accelerate significantly" during the first quarter of 2011, with new products poised for market, such as the Xoom, RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, and HP's WebOS-based TouchPad (pictured at left).

IDC forecast tablet sales to reach 44.6 million units in 2011 and rise to 70.8 million units in 2012, while Deloitte put 2011's projected total at 50 million units, adding that enterprise markets healthcare and retail could alone account for five million tablets this year.

Raymond James, also in a Jan. 18 report, anticipated, too, that Android will eventually overtake Apple's iOS in market share, adding that it additionally has high hopes for tablets running HP's WebOS.

"We view WebOS as a very competitive operating system and believe that HP's brand name, expansive customer base and world-class supply chain position the company for success in the tablet market," wrote Raymond James analyst Brian Alexander.

More recently, financial services firm Morgan Stanley reported, not unlike RBC's Abramsky, that the tablet market is still being underestimated, and that shipments could reach 100 million units in 2012. China, said the Morgan Stanley report, will lead the worldwide market, accounting for 41 percent of all shipments, while the United States, behind Japan and much of Europe, will account for just 11 percent of sales.

Abramsky, in a chart in his 88-page report, emphasized the potential for tablet growth by comparing tablet owners to those of other markets. While tablet and smartphone owners are said to tally approximately 394 million users, broadband subscribers are a healthy 555 million strong. PC owners, meanwhile, run to 1.3 billion and Internet users two billion, while overall mobile subscribers have passed the five billion mark, says RBC.

Gartner, meanwhile, appears to be sending mixed signals on tablets. On the one hand, a Gartner study this week downwardly revised worldwide PC shipment estimates as a result of fast-growing tablet sales. Yet last month, the research firm said that tablet computers rank the lowest on Americans' tech wishlists for 2011. Then again, with Morgan Stanley and others projecting that tablet growth will be slower in the U.S. than elsewhere, perhaps the reports are not so inconsistent after all.

Samsung rethinks Galaxy Pad 10.1 after iPad 2 launch

Android may well have the upper hand in tablets in the long run, but for now, the newly announced iPad 2 is the tablet to beat. Following the iPad 2 unveiling this week, Samsung Executive Vice President Lee Don-Joo was said to have told the Yonhap news agency, speaking of the company's upcoming Galaxy Pad 10.1, "We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate."

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

The comments are interesting considering that the Galaxy Pad 10.1-'s specs look pretty impressive. In fact, they are very similar to the Xoom, the Toshiba Tablet, and other recently announced Android 3.0 ("Honeycomb") tablets, offering high-end features like a dual-core 1GHz processor, front and rear cameras, and a high-resolution 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 display.

While the iPad 2 breaks some new technical ground compared to the latest Honeycomb tablets, the new release is seen by many as something of a catch-up to the new Android competition.

The iPad2's biggest advantage, however, may be its lower price, which makes the Xoom look even more overpriced at $800 than it seemed before. This was reflected in Lee Don-Joo's other quoted statement, "The 10-inch [tablet] was to be priced higher than the 7-inch, but we will have to think that over."

Meanwhile, Samsung is rumored to be prepping a new 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab model to be released Mar. 22. Speculation was fueled Mar. 3, when Samsung invited journalists to an event in Orlando, Fla., related to the Samsung tablet portfolio.

Michelle Maisto is a writer for our sister publication eWEEK.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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