iPad to reign supreme until 2012

New research from iSuppli forecasts that, despite a plethora of mobile manufacturers rushing to bring tablet devices to the market, Apple's iPad will have no real rival until at least 2012. The figures from iSuppli say the iPad is set to account for 74.1 per cent of global tablet shipments this year and it is predicted 2011 will see this drop only slightly to 70.4 per cent. Even in 2012, the research firm said, Apple will retain 61.7 per cent of the market, whilst challengers continued to struggle to steal market share.

"Although the iPad has been on the market for only a few months, powerful interests throughout the technology business are devoting enormous resources to challenge and topple Apple's domination in this fast-growing marketplace," said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research at iSuppli.

"However, if recent history is any lesson, it will take some time for these companies to get their products to market, longer for them to offer necessary software support and infrastructure, and an even lengthier period to begin to rival the overall user experience Apple is able to deliver."

iSuppli is using the example of the iPhone in its research. It says that despite a large number of so-called iPhone competitors appearing after the Apple phone's launch in 2007, there were no real challengers to its dominance until 2010.

And when the competition does catch up, which device does Alexander see as potentially the strongest competitor? She plumps for HP with its upcoming webOS-based device but this is not expected to launch until 2011 so Apple still has a while to keep hold of the tablet crown.

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