Analysts disagree on iPad losing market share to Google Android

Gartner refutes Ovum report that Google will catch up in 2015

While Gartner is predicting that Apple will continue its tablet dominance with the iPad 2, an Ovum report claims devices running on the Google Android operating system are expected to catch up in 2015.

Ovum Australia principal analyst, Adam Leach, said in a statement that the firm is forecasting a 36 per cent global market share for Google and 35 per cent share for Apple in four years time.

“This compares with Ovum’s estimate of 10 per cent for Google and 90 per cent for Apple at the end of 2010,” he said.

While Apple had the advantage of releasing its tablet first, Leach said a slew of tablet devices from Samsung, Motorola, HP, HTC and RIM have aimed to replicate the Apple experience.

“Much of the early growth of the tablet market can be attributable to the Apple iPad, a device whose sales constituted 90 per cent of the total market opportunity in 2010. The remaining 10 per cent of shipments in 2010 was made up of devices running variants of Google’s Android operating system,” said Leach.

However, he also said that a number of device vendors are looking to exploit Google's latest version of the Android operating system called Honeycomb to deliver a user experience that can compete with Apple's OS.

“Some vendors, notably HP and RIM, are choosing to invest in their own software platforms. Ovum’s belief is that the platform dominance of Apple and Google will continue through 2011 and beyond, albeit with devices based on Google’s software platform commanding an increasing proportion of the total market opportunity,” said Leach.

Gartner US consumer technologies and markets research vice president, Carolina Milanesi, said in a statement that she disagreed with the predictions and claimed competitors have a new benchmark as they roll out their first generation devices.

“Apple has moved the game to the next level,” she said in the statement.

“It’s offering more for the same price and gives users an option to go from the basic model to the high-end model. If competitors will come down on price it will certainly be done with a compromise on spec even if it is just on the screen size,” she said.

She also said the iPad operating system will remain ahead of Android well into 2014.

“This however, does not mean that any single vendor will have anywhere close to Apple’s share. Android will have more vendors supporting it and bringing out devices at different price points the same as we see in the smart phone business,” she said.

While local pricing for the iPad 2 has not been set, a statement from Apple said that Telstra, Optus, 3 Mobile and Vodafone will sell data packs.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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