The Apple iPad will remain the most popular tablet PC in the market until at least 2016, according to analysts.
Gartner expects the iPad to maintain a 45%+ share of the competitive tablet market over the next four years and a 61.4% share in 2012 alone.
Although the figures might sound impressive, they actually reflect a lack of control by Apple in the tablet market. The analyst reported that the iPad accounted for 73.4% of tablet sales in 2011 and 83% in 2010.
In addition to assessing Apple’s future position in the global tablet market, Gartner also reviewed the future position of its competitors. The group believes tablets which run on the Android operating system will account for 31.9% of tablet sales, while those powered by Windows 8 will account for just 4.1% of the market.
By the start of 2015, Gartner expects 35% of tablet sales to be used for business use, however they did not specify if these tablets would be bought by individuals or the corporations themselves.
Commenting on the group’s latest report, research vice president at Gartner Carolina Milanesi said: ”Despite PC vendors and phone manufacturers wanting a piece of the pie and launching themselves into the media tablet market, so far, we have seen very limited success outside of Apple with its iPad.”
“As vendors struggled to compete on price and differentiate enough on either the hardware or ecosystem, inventories were built and only 60 million units actually reached the hands of consumers across the world. The situation has not improved in early 2012, when the arrival of the new iPad has reset the benchmark for the product to beat.”
If Gartner’s predictions regarding the growth of the tablet market are to be believed, Apple could sell 73 million iPads worldwide in 2012, 100 million units in 2013 and 170 million units in 2014.