Gartner analyst: 2011 tablet market will be challenging for any vendor whose name isn’t Apple

“It looks as if 2011 is going to be the year of the tablet, or more likely the year of too many tablets,” Nick Jones, vice president and Gartner distinguished analyst, blogs. “I expect the market will be challenging for any tablet vendor whose name isn’t Apple, and especially challenging for anyone who’s late to market.”

“Our expectations for the tablet market in 2011 are positive, but to put things in context tablets will still be niche devices, maybe 15% of smartphone sales,” Jones writes. “So I think we’ll see more supply than demand in 2011, and probably some vicious price competition because Apple will remain the leader in style, features and shipments.”

Jones writes, “Price-insensitive buyers will just drop into their local Apple store without considering Android or the other also-rans, so maybe we’ll see a pile of discounted remaindered tablets on sale in H2 of 2011.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Famous Grouse” for the heads up.]

17 Comments

  1. Excuse me, Mr. “Gartner distinguished analyst,” but Apple is also late to the party. Bill Gates was pimping one of the only tablets available for the last ten years-look where that got M$.

  2. Staples have three tablets on display, Samsung Galaxy and two others. The cheapest is a cheap and cheerful £79 job then a Linx model at £280 and the Galaxy at £382. The best looking and best made is the Galaxy, though the Linx model seems acceptable if your expectations are in line with the price.

    Could not really test them since there was no wifi network running. The cheapest took twenty seconds or more to display a screen declaring no network.

    For someone who has not seen or handled an Apple computer or mobile device, the Android models will certainly appeal. Once purchased the buyer will likely rigourously defend their choice no matter what.

  3. @silverhawk…
    MS was pimping tablets, but they were in actuality only miniature MS bricks. Very little usability in the real world, and
    very little flexibility in terms of apps. Apple was late to the nomenclature, but first in quality. This is what makes it an Apple product. Quality, Interface, and flexibility in use.

  4. How I’d love to see Android 7″ tablets just collecting dust on shelves while Apple is selling iPads by the truckloads. Any Wintard tablet will certainly be dead on arrival so that will be an easy win. If Apple can sell 30+ million iPads next year despite dozens of companies cranking out Android tablets, I’ll consider that a victory on Apple’s part. I’d also enjoy confirming Steve Jobs calling it right when he said that consumers won’t have much of an interest in 7″ Android tablets. Go, Apple.

    I can’t imagine consumers having to choose from a dozen or so Android tablets in Best Buy or Sears. I figure it would be as frustrating as hell. I guess the cheapest tablet will go home with the customer.

  5. Samsung’s Galaxy thing seems to be selling reasonably well, though. We must look at the reality of the retail market. People who don’t know what iPad does, and see a tablet that is somewhat cheaper, and it looks cute enough, they may decide to buy it because they somehow got convinced that the tablet is the latest greatest thing in tech. Very few people go out and buy an iPad because they need it (for home or work). They buy it because they want it, even though they don’t quite know what they’ll do with it. Obviously, they quickly figure that part out (in the case of an iPad), however not before they actually buy the thing. If they do the same thing with a 7″ in-between device, they’ll likely try to defend their purchase (“everybody is crazy about their tablet, so I should be crazy about mine”), even though the device will likely soon begin to collect dust. Nonetheless, until enough people start telling other people that they aren’t using their 7″ tablets all that much, many will get them, believing that tablet is a tablet.

    We’ll just have to see how much time it will take for the market to sort itself out, and these 7″ devices begin dropping off the radar.

  6. What? What does the iPad sales have to do with the “smartphone sales” or even the iPhone sales? Other than sharing the ability to run most of the tsunami of iPhone apps, so far, they are used differently.

    HOWEVER, if this clueless wonder understands that the iPad 2 is going to be the videoconferencing device of choice with FaceTime, he would be on to something.

  7. I’m more curious about what happens when larger-screen (like iPad) Android devices begin to appear (kind of like when Android phones started appearing). The situation just might repeat itself there, in that many people who never had a multi-touch computing device would get a (presumably cheaper) non-iPad tablet and be quite blown away by the (ripped off intellectual property) user interface of that Android device, without a clue regarding the real (iPad) thing.

    The only reasons the situation might be different are:

    1. No carrier exclusivity (anyone can buy an iPad);
    2. Apple’s massive purchasing power with component makers (and its own in-house A4 processor), making it prohibitively expensive for competitors to actually compete on price and features.

  8. I guess we’re still finding out how many word combinations in tech press and analyst headlines equate to “Apple has significant advantage in the tablet market”. It was obvious the 200th time it appeared.

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