Are you ready for a surprise? Unfortunately, you probably won't find it here. A new report, put out by research firm Strategy Analytics, has found that Apple is in firm control of the tablet PC market, and it's unlikely that the situation will change in the near term. Years ago, tablet
PCs hit the market with next to no fanfare; consumers scoffed at how big they were, and the battery life was rather terrible. They were mostly used for field work and in enterprise applications.
Today, the timing is right for consumer tablets, and the iPad
has a commanding lead over everyone else. According to the report, they now own 95% of the entire tablet market when looking at the most recent July-to-September time frame.
Competition is definitely set to grow; Microsoft's Windows 7 should show up on a number of leading-edge tablets in time for Christmas, and Samsung's Galaxy Tab goes on sale in America later this month. But will it be enough? The iPod grabbed onto the portable media player market and refused to let go, and everyone else that tried to topple Apple
failed…even Microsoft with their Zune
SA analyst Neil Mawston had the following take on things: "The tablet wars are up and running. Apple has quickly leveraged its famous brand, an extensive retail presence and user-friendly design to develop the tablet segment into a multi-billion-dollar global business. We expect Android's share to rise in the fourth quarter as more models, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, enter the market."
In March 2011, the iPad will have been out an entire year, and just as other tablets are catching up, it's likely that Apple will reveal the second iteration of the iPad and throw everyone on their heels again. Time will tell, though.