Market Overview

Apple to Sell 30 Million iPads in 2012


By the year's end, worldwide media tablet sales will approach 120 million.

That's according to new research from Gartner (NYSE: IT), which reports that tablets will experience a 98% increase from 2011 sales to 60 million.

Not surprisingly, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is credited as the producer of the dominant media tablet operating system, iOS, which is "projected to account for 61.4% of worldwide media tablet sales to end users in 2012," Gartner wrote in its release. "Despite the arrival of Microsoft-based devices to this market, and the expected international rollout of the Kindle Fire, Apple will continue to be the market leader through the forecast period."

This has already proven to be true. Despite the increasing threat of a clone army from the likes of Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), evidence of disappointing sales figures (domestically if nowhere else), and accusations from customers who say they're paying for 4G service but only receive 3G, the third-generation iPad has been very successful. Worldwide, the tablet has already sold more than three million units.

"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," Carolina Milanesi, research VP at Gartner, said in a company release. "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."

"It appears that this year competitors have waited to see what Apple would bring out — because there were very few announcements of new media tablets at either the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) or Mobile World Congress (MWC)," Milanesi continued. "Many vendors will wait for Windows 8 to be ready and will try to enter the market with a dual-platform approach, hoping that the Microsoft brand could help them in both the enterprise and consumer markets."

By the end of 2011, consumers had purchased nearly 40 million iPads (this is based on Gartner's research, which shows that 39.9 million tablet owners are using iOS). By the end of 2012, Gartner expects the number of iOS tablet users to increase to nearly 73 million. By the end of 2013, nearly 100 million people will have purchased an iPad. And when 2016 comes to a close, nearly 170 million people will own an Apple tablet.

Compare that with Android, which is only expected to be in the hands of 37 million tablet users by the end of 2012, while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is not expected to sell more than 4.8 million Windows 8 tablets this fall.

"IT departments will see Windows 8 as the opportunity to deploy tablets on an OS that is familiar to them and with devices offered by many enterprise-class suppliers," Milanesi added. "This means that we see Windows 8 as a strong IT-supplied offering more so than an OS with a strong consumer appeal."

Follow me @LouisBedigian

Posted-In: Apple Gartner iPad Windows 8News Success Stories Tech


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