Google’s Android OS is expected to increase its global share of the tablet market from 20 per cent currently to nearly 40 per cent in 2015. Leila Makki reports.
The research firm warns that Google’s decision not to open up its tablet-optimised OS version, Honeycomb to “third parties will prevent fragmentation, but will also slow the price decline and ultimately cap market share.”
“The new licensing model Google has introduced with Honeycomb enables Google to drive more control, allowing only optimal tablet implementations that don’t compromise quality of experience," says Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner. “This might mean that prices will drop at a slower pace than what we have seen in the smartphone market.”
However, Apple’s iOS tablets accounts for 69 per cent of media tablets today and will continue to dominate the market over the next four years, representing 47 per cent in 2015.
“Seeing the response from both consumers and enterprises to the iPad, many vendors are trying to compete by first delivering on hardware and then trying to leverage the platform ecosystem,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.
She continued, “Many, however, are making the same mistake that was made in the first response wave to the iPhone, as they are prioritising hardware features over applications, services and overall user experience. Tablets will be much more dependent on the latter than smartphones have been, and the sooner vendors realise that the better chance they have to compete head-to-head with Apple.”
But about the new Blackberry Playbook due out soon? Well according to Gartner analysts:
“It will take time and significant effort for RIM to attract developers and deliver a compelling ecosystem of applications and services around QNX to position it as a viable alternative to Apple or Android. This will limit RIM’s market share growth over the forecast period,” Ms. Milanesi said. “It will be mainly organizations that will be interested in RIM’s tablets because they either already have RIM’s infrastructure deployed or have stringent security requirements.”
And other players like Nokia’s MeeGo and HP Palm’s WebOS, which currently have a weak presence in the smartphone market, will have a limited appeal unless they can grow that business, argues Gartner.
“Smartphone users will want to buy a tablet that runs the same operating system as their smartphone. This is so that they can share applications across devices as well as for the sense of familiarity the user interfaces will bring,” Milanesi added.
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