Will Apple’s iPad continue to dominate tabs for years to come?

Mar 7, 2011
Finance

Android from Google (GOOG) is making inroads into the smartphone market. So, isn’t that what’s going to happen in the tablet market, as Android erodes the dominating lead of iPad from Apple (AAPL)? As it stands, iPad, introduced a year ago and on March 11 to be available in its second iteration, owns at least […]

Android from Google (GOOG) is making inroads into the smartphone market. So, isn’t that what’s going to happen in the tablet market, as Android erodes the dominating lead of iPad from Apple (AAPL)?

As it stands, iPad, introduced a year ago and on March 11 to be available in its second iteration, owns at least 90 percent of the market it created. Motorola (MMI), Samsung (005930.KS) and Research In Motion (RIMM) are making their moves.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs last week in unveiling iPad 2 said 2011 will be the Year of the iPad2. But what about 2012 and beyond?

Kevin Maney blogged last week in Appolicious that Apple may dominate now, but the market will explode in 2012 into the year of real competition.

But Dan Frommer in Business Insider forecasts that iPad will continue to rule, holding on to the No. 1 spot for years to come.

Frommer said: “While competition will intensify, the iPad will continue to be the best all-around product for consumers, and therefore Apple should maintain very high market share (settling to 50 percent-60 percent) for at least several years.”

He added: “…you may say, Google Android just kicked Apple’s butt in smartphones! Why won’t this happen in tablets? The fundamental difference between the tablet market and the smartphone market is carrier distribution.

“Whereas smartphone distribution is dominated by wireless operators, we expect carriers to play a relatively small role in tablet distribution. Tablet sales will be centered around electronics retail — the Apple store, Best Buy, WalMart — and big e-commerce, and not around carrier stores.”

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Consumers want to avoid those two-year contracts they’re stuck with for their phones.

Apple for once has a price advantage at least for the moment.

When I blogged recently in Appolicious about how Apple has leveraged this nice price, an old friend who had been a long-time tech writer at the Chicago Tribune said this must be the first time in history that Apple had bragging rights on the lowest price. Apple has been leveraging its stores to cut out the middleman and saving on supply-chain efficiencies.

Buyers have to pay a 25 percent premium for Motorola’s much-praised Xoom—a price difference that holds up as iPad2 matches Xoom’s front- and rear-facing cameras.

Apple’s rivals may have to surrender the consumer market, but they may have an opportunity in tabs for the corporate world.

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