Analyst: iPad will dominate the tablet market, still hold 60% share in 2020

Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf on Friday released a note to clients that announced he was raising his 12-month price target on Apple Inc. (AAPL) to $540 from $450.

Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune, “The ultimate size of the tablet computer market, and the iPad’s share of that market, are key to Wolf’s revised valuation because it is based of several new assumptions.”

• That going forward the iPad, not the iPod, will be the the main source (along with the iPhone) of the halo effect that drives the Mac’s market share. The theory is that Microsoft Windows users who buy iPhones or iPads are even more likely to switch to Macs than iPod owners were.
• That iPad sales to new users will grow steadily for the next five years, peaking in 2016 at nearly 54 million units.
• That the iPad’s growth curve will end up being less like the Mac and the iPhone — which have small shares of very large markets — and more like the iPod, which continues to command a better than 70% share of the MP3 player market.
• That by 2020, the iPad will still be shipping nearly 140 million units a year [to new and repeat buyers] and commanding a 60% share of the tablet computer market — considerably higher than conventional wisdom. Gartner, for example, has the iPad’s market share slipping to 47% by 2015 under the onslaught of copycats running Google Android and other tablet operating systems. ‘We disagree with pundits who have predicted that the iPad will rapidly lose share to Android tablets,’ Wolf writes.

Much more, including Wolf’s revised Apple model and his forecast for iPad sales, in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Analyst: Apple iPad unit sales to be eclipsed by Android tablets in 3 years – July 14, 2011
Android phone settlers don’t go for Android tablets, they buy Apple iPads – July 8, 2011
Why Android tablets can’t compete with Apple’s revolutionary iPad – July 8, 2011
Nielsen: Apple iPhone drives U.S. smartphone growth as Android stagnates – June 30, 2011
IDC: Apple becomes Australia’s number one mobile brand as Nokia plummets – June 27, 2011
40% of European smartphone buyers plan to next buy an Apple iPhone – June 24, 2011
Apple iPhone the top-selling smartphone at both Verizon and AT&T – June 22, 2011
Analyst: Android to continue to lose smartphone share – June 20, 2011
Multiple Android tablet peddlers give up, focus on 4- to 5 -inch smartphones – June 17, 2011
Analyst: Apple iPhone 4 still bestseller ‘by far’ at AT&T and Verizon; still outsells Android in U.S. – June 13, 2011
Nielsen finds decline in Android’s U.S. smartphone share – May 31, 2011
NPD: Apple iPhone 4 for Verizon best-selling mobile phone in U.S.; causes Android to lose share for first time since Q209 – April 28, 2011
Gartner: Apple iOS to dominate tablet market through 2015, owning over 50% of market for next three years – April 11, 2011


  1. In the context of wild speculation (i.e., “analysts”), Wolf’s forecast at least has precedence (i.e., the iPod and current iPad trajectory). The pundits that predict the Android tablet predominance want to use Android phone share, which has little to no relation to the market for tablets (or should I say “iPads”?).

  2. …seriously? You can’ accurately predict something 9 years from now, that’s ridiculous. iPads might not even be around by then. iPods are still around, but they are being cannibalized by iPhones and iPads, hence the consistent drop in sales every quarters for the last while.

    What a waste of time. I’m not saying whether I think he’s right or wrong, I’m saying there’s insufficient evidence to make such a prediction, and therefore doing so is pointless and counterproductive.

    1. … in computer time is, what, three generations? Four? This is far more sensible than “Android beats iOS in 2013”, but that’s mighty thin praise. I know anti-Apple people who are satisfied with their Android gear, and they are NOT idiots. That’s part of the problem: you need to work harder and accept a different result to get along with Android. That doesn’t describe a large market niche. The folks coming off Windows desktops will appreciate the iPad style more than the Android work ethic.
      Still … the Android crowd can change that in nine years. The Windows crowd COULD surprise us all and change their ways in nine years. Nine years is a long time, for an electronic device.

      1. the Android crowd can change that in nine years. The Windows crowd COULD surprise us all and change their ways in nine years.

        Yes, both crowds deserve each other, as they always have the same motto: “Our NEXT version will totally be better than what Apple already has now!”

        It’s amazing how promised future Microsoft/Google products continue to beat existing products from Apple every time, innit?

        1. … you understood me correctly: I was stating possibilities that could – MAYBE – knock this prediction into a cocked hat. True, history suggests – strongly – this will not be the case. Apple’s 90s did not predict their next decade+, did they? And I’ve really enjoyed their latest dozen years.

        1. For instance, with flexible or projected displays, an iPad could easily take the form of an iPod touch in years to come. Or it could even shrink to iPod nano or shuffle dimensions given the continued miniaturization of circuitry. The primary limiting factors on shrinking the portable computer are the display and the user input method (keyboard, trackpad, touchscreen).

  3. iPad and Android type slates do not have the cell networks on their side flogging slates at discounts just to sell bandwidth. The tablets have to survive on their own capabilities.

    So far all iPad rivals have hit the market half baked and App lacking. I don’t think that will change.

    Slates with Windows OS capabilities, in a couple of years, will have Apps at the start but they will still be ugly, overweight, have a 2.5 hour battery life and arrive half baked.

    It’s an iPad market and the original will always be the best. iPods all over again.

  4. Apple will dominate 80% of the tablet market till another blockbuster, category-killer product comes on the market. The rest: Android, Windows 99, RIM and HP have no time to compete with Apple; they will be fighting among themselves just for survival.

  5. But didn’t HP say the TouchPad will be #1+? Won’t that put it above the iPad? They’re sure trying hard – $200 discount within the first month of launch. How many will that lead balloon sell?

  6. The wannabe pads are being pushed with massive advertising budgets, and money-losing pricing in an effort to gain acceptance. So far most producers won’t discuss unit sales (we know what that means) or they admit it’s been disappointing. But they will persist, because the iPad has shown them the future, and each knows they have to be a player. This is the struggle of those who do not invent but only copy.

  7. a lot of people are misinterpreting what the analyst is actual doing. It’s not so much prediction as it is a forecast. Right now, this is how he sees things playing out. A ton of things could cause changes to this forecast even within the next year.

    I think the one point this analyst and many others are missing is that iPads will last much longer than iPhones, and lingers than iPods did initially.

    This may seem contrary to the numbers of upgraders for the iPad2, but with each new iteration, fewerwillbe compelled to upgrade on a frequent basis. This combines with old iPads continuing to provide various utility is safer environments. While there are few original iPhones in use today, do expect most of the original iPads to be in use in 4 years, although not by the original user.

  8. I think it’s time for Apple to allow a leaked story about it’s high tech cesspool project including grainy photos. This will give the wannabees a jumping start into the pool and Apple will be “forced” to concede in 2020 that the wannabees are way ahead in the high tech cesspool business. 🙂

  9. Funny story about market share:

    Went to local Verizon store on Saturday. Bunch of Xoom type tablets on the counter. No iPads. They say iPads do not sell in this area but Xooms and their ilk sell well. When I asked for numbers they said that they have sold ZERO Xoom type tablets and they only sold one iPad (their demo unit). The guy was at the store since before Apr 3, 2010 and that is what he said – no kidding. I just laughed and so did he (kind of).

    I think 60% market share numbers are spin or is what someone is paid to say. According to my research Apple has nailed the tablet market.

    BTW, the area is Jamestown, NY. A rather depressed and shrinking area.

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