Research firm Gartner refreshed its tablet market estimates today, noting a significantly lack of momentum from competing products. The report also suggests that the iPad, due to its lack of competition and focus on the user experience, is poised to enjoy a free run during the holiday shopping season.
Gartner’s sales projections are reflected in the above chart. Gartner sees the iPad maintaining its majority through at least 2014, even amid Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 and RIM’s upcoming QNX platforms, which are expected to gain some traction.
We expect Apple to maintain a market share lead throughout our forecast period by commanding more than 50 percent of the market until 2014…This is because Apple delivers a superior and unified user experience across its hardware, software and services. Unless competitors can respond with a similar approach, challenges to Apple’s position will be minimal. Apple had the foresight to create this market and in doing that planned for it as far as component supplies such as memory and screen. This allowed Apple to bring the iPad out at a very competitive price and no compromise in experience among the different models that offer storage and connectivity options.
Gartner has trimmed its estimates for Android tablet sales by 28%, citing high prices, user interface issues, and significantly limited options for apps. Gartner expects Android to see stronger growth heading into next year as Google pushes out its forthcoming “Ice Cream Sandwich” update and addresses fragmentation issues, but does not expect the platform to catch up to the iPad by the end of 2015.