As every electronic company is in a rush to launch a tablet PC and compete with the market leader iPad, the catching up of competition may hurt iPad’s market share in the longer term.
As every electronic company is in a rush to launch a tablet PC and compete with the market leader iPad, the catching up of competition may hurt iPad's market share in the longer term.
Apple's iPad is a tablet computer marketed as a platform for audio and visual media such as books, periodicals, movies, music, and games, as well as web content. Apple released the iPad in April 2010, and sold over 3 million of the devices.
Market is expecting Apple to sell atleast 10 million iPads this year and over 20 million iPads in 2011.
Seeing the soaring popularity of iPad, even many PC makers from Dell to HP are launching iPad-like tablets. Samsung is preparing to launch its 7-inch Galaxy Tab, while Dell has already released its 5-inch Streak. HP is working on its Slate tablet with Windows 7. Research In Motion is reportedly exploring a BlackBerry-branded tablet, and Microsoft intends to port Windows 7 onto a variety of tablet form-factors.
Meanwhile, Toshiba, Samsung and LG are also expected to launch their tablet PCs over the next few months.
However, Apple's iPad tablet is unlikely to face a competitor until next year and is set to maintain a dominant share in the tablet market at least through 2012, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.
iSuppli has identified Android- and Windows 7-based tablets from Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Lenovo as iPad competitors, and it believes none of these is a serious competitor to the iPad from a solution perspective.
That said, iSuppli believes the most interesting near-term iPad competition is likely to come from HP though the iPad challenger is unlikely to appear before 2011.
iSuppli estimates that iPad will have a 74 percent share of the tablet market in 2010, declining to 70 percent in 2011 and 62 percent in 2012 as more competitors enter the market.
On a competition perspective, ignoring Adobe's Flash and backing HTML5 could act against iPad, as over 70 percent of today's online video use Flash.
It is to be noted that unlike the iPad, many tablets will support Adobe Flash, a multimedia platform that adds animation and interactivity to web pages.
Betting that Flash was a declining technology, Apple chose instead to support HTML5, the next version of the standard programming language for describing the content and appearance of web pages.
On September 9, Apple,. however, said it is relaxing its Flash ban to some extent. Although iPhone and iPad users still won't be able to view Flash-based web pages, Apple will now allow developers to write mobile apps using Flash.
On the other hand, after a runway success in the consumer market, Apple is now trying to introduce the iPad in the corporate market, where RIM and Cisco are both well-established players.
If the competing devices started to take market share from iPad, it would also impact Apple's stock price.
Stock analysis firm Trefis said there could be a downside of 3 percent to its $337 price estimate for Apple's stock if iPad sales only reach 18 million units by 2016, instead of the 29 million that it currently forecast.
"There could be a downside of 3% to our $337 stock price estimate for Apple if iPad sales grow more slowly than expected due to increased competition during our six-year forecast period," Trefis said.
Shares of Apple were up $2.37 at $265.78 in the pre-market trading Monday on Nasdaq
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