In a research note released late last week, Canaccord Genuity analyst Mike Walkley said that strong user preference for the iPad over other tablets would give Apple a majority market share in the tablet market through at least 2012.
"Our smartphone and handset checks indicate iPads are selling better to Android smartphone users than the current Android tablets," he said. "As a result, we argue that consumers purchasing a tablet are more likely to remain in that ecosystem given higher price points for tablet applications."
What's more, Walkley also said that Apple had positively nailed the pricing of its tablets compared to the competition, meaning that rival tablet makers would have to start aggressively slashing their prices in order to at all keep up with the iPad.
"Apple has priced the iPad 2 to the point where we believe it will be difficult for competitors to profitably compete, and ... both the Motorola XOOM and RIM Playbook have not sold well at current price points," he wrote. "We believe competing tablets must sell at a substantial discount to the iPad 2."
Canaccord Genuity projects that Apple will sell nearly 36 million iPads this year, nearly two-and-a-half times the 14.8 million iPads the company sold last year. Even though Apple has gotten a lot more competition in the tablet market this year, the projected 36 million iPad sales for this year still give the company a 56% share of the overall tablet market. Canaccord Genuity also projects that Apple will sell more than 55 million iPads in 2012, good for a 51% share of the tablet market. The firm says that Samsung will be the only other tablet vendor to claim even 10% of the market, as its projected 12 million tablets sold will give the company an 11% share of the market.
Canaccord's analysis is just the latest showing that Apple has so far remained the dominant player in the tablet market despite a flood of new entries. A survey of more than 3,000 consumers released by ChangeWave earlier this year found that 27% of consumers have plans to buy a tablet, and that 82% of them plan to purchase an Apple iPad. The Motorola Xoom, Research in Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook and the Samsung Galaxy Tab each accounted for less than 5% of planned tablet purchases. In an analysis of its survey data, ChangeWave said iPad competitors face a steep uphill climb against Apple, especially since the vendor has already released the second generation of its popular device while rivals are just getting around to releasing their first-generation tablets.
Additionally, IDC this year released a report showing the iPad accounted for 83% of all tablets shipped in 2010, while more research released by ChangeWave found that the iPad dominated corporate purchasing plans, as more than three-quarters of the businesses that planned on buying tablets reported plans to buy the iPad.
Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.