Poll Position: iPad's outlook in 2011

When you put up a poll (our poll is located in the right sidebar, under the "latest software" section) that asks whether or not an Apple product will do well, one can usually predict the results. This week’s poll, which asked readers to vote on the likelihood of a serious competitor to the iPad coming to town next year, was one of those polls that seemed to be decided before it even went live. We live in a world where the iPad currently enjoys close to 100% market share in the slate tablet market, and we haven’t seen one device currently in the field that stands any chance in unseating Apple’s juggernaut device. This wouldn’t be unprecedented either; the iPhone and the iPod are both products that ate up market share like I eat ice cream (consume it all; only share if you have to). It wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if the iPad continued its global market domination well into 2011, and possibly beyond.

However, the readers have spoken. The readers believe that an Android device will come from the East and save the market from being overrun by Apple next year. This is definitely a possible scenario. It seems like every device manufacturer is promising an Android tablet soon (Acer, Viewsonic, Samsung, to name a few), and one could hope that at least one will stick. Android certainly has come of age in the past year, and it seems that people are willing to follow that growth into the tablet market. It’s interesting that readers went for Android over Chrome OS. While it’s true that Chrome OS is as of yet untested and therefore unpredictable, many would praise the bare-bones design of the OS as perfect for a tablet environment.

Windows got a solid representation in the poll. Windows has been a long time coming to the tablet party (barring previous Windows XP versions that never really made it off the ground), and Windows 7 promises to offer a rich tablet experience, enabling users to experience increased productivity even without a mouse and keyboard. Microsoft has a penchant for giving their OS out to OEMs for inclusion in hardware, so we will definitely see some market activity from them. Will its quality hold up to the iPad’s critical acclaim and already established dominance? After all, we could just see another Zune in the works.

The disadvantage of a poll is that you can’t explain why you chose the answer you chose. Thus, the comments section is just for you. Have at it.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft to propel WP7 with over a half-billion dollars

Next Story

Lenovo releasing a game console

22 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

It won't be an android device if they follow Samsungs lead and charge £700 for a device half the size. They wanted to charge £800 for the bloody thing.

It's competing with laptops, netbooks and also smartphones so there's plenty of competition well and truly established and doing it's purpose better.

the tablet market is like one seat cars, might be helpful to very few but generally they're not going to be accepted because it has no defined purpose or selling point that no other device can't do. (before it's said yes I know what we think of people who buy it anyway just cause they can or they actually want one)

But in general android will be the future of majority portable gadgets/devices in future no doubt it's an excellent OS.

"It seems like every device manufacturer is promising an Android tablet soon (Acer, Viewsonic, Samsung, to name a few), and one could hope that at least one will stick"

I dont think 1 will stick, It will probably go the same way phones have gone, 50000 android devices and 1 ipad (and a few windows based devices too, anyone seen the exopc)
http://www.exopc.com/en/exopc-slate.php

and android will win out in the end because there are more options, its with more carriers, etc.

on that note, tho the exopc looks nice, I think window's won't do well because of a lack of a dedicated app store. Your average iphone/ipad user isn't going to want to hunt around for apps that just work with whatever interface they throw on top of windows. This is where MS needs to do something themselves.

I use my iPad everyday. I bought my Netbook (Samsung) a year prior, thinking that it would be my "coffee table computer", but it wasn't. I used it for about 2 months and now it sits and gathers dust. I've had the iPad since the month it was released, and I don't see a curb in my usage pattern.

The iPad just has a good form factor for the features it supports. It is the best device I have for getting to information (web), eBooks, and eMagazines. However, it isn't very good for productivity and the lack of Flash is disappointing (however, I see a future where Flash is less and less relevant).

Flash on the iPhone, take it or leave it. But I would like to see Flash on the iPad. If a good Android slate arrives w/ Flash I may jump ship. So, it is exciting to see what the future holds for this category of devices.

People who think these devices are essentially over-sized phones or dumbed down laptops, really should sit down and use one for awhile.

Hm... so far the discussion seems pretty civilised. Where have all the anti-Apple fanboys gone?

I have zero interest in an iPad but I honestly think that it is a great idea and I can see why a lot of people want it. I can also see a lot of potential. Yes, other vendors got there with tablet concepts in the past but what everyone always fails to understand is the usability that Apple bring to the table. They blew apart the smartphone market with the iPhone - love them or loathe them for it - but it forced a very stagnant market, and very lazy vendors to wake the hell up and start innovating real quick in order to stand a chance.

The iPad will do the same for the tablet segment. I said before and I'll say it again - the current iPad really does feel every bit of the 1st generation product that it is, and I suspect subsequent revisions will bring a lot more cool features to the table just as the iPhone 3G/4 did.

But for now - it's just too darn expensive to even contemplate (in the UK at least) so I'll stick to my HTC Desire as my only method of doing "stuff" on the road.

Chicane-UK said,
Hm... so far the discussion seems pretty civilised. Where have all the anti-Apple fanboys gone?

I have zero interest in an iPad but I honestly think that it is a great idea and I can see why a lot of people want it. I can also see a lot of potential. Yes, other vendors got there with tablet concepts in the past but what everyone always fails to understand is the usability that Apple bring to the table. They blew apart the smartphone market with the iPhone - love them or loathe them for it - but it forced a very stagnant market, and very lazy vendors to wake the hell up and start innovating real quick in order to stand a chance.

The iPad will do the same for the tablet segment. I said before and I'll say it again - the current iPad really does feel every bit of the 1st generation product that it is, and I suspect subsequent revisions will bring a lot more cool features to the table just as the iPhone 3G/4 did.

But for now - it's just too darn expensive to even contemplate (in the UK at least) so I'll stick to my HTC Desire as my only method of doing "stuff" on the road.

I'm not an Apple fan, but I must admit the iPad feels like a very polished product. First generation... well it only feels like that a little and only because of its lack of certain features.

I do hope we start to see more tablets, especially Linux-based ones (the MeeGo tablet UI looks really nice), but I'm a bit disappointed with the direction they seem to be going. I really liked Microsoft's Courier concept because that's exactly what I need in a tablet - a replacement for a paper notebook. If one of those existed with the 10-hour battery life of the iPad... I'd buy it in an instant.

A cheap Andriod pad in the range of 100-150 euros is a doable thing, plus giving the people what they actually want from the iPad which has been crippled at the hardware level.

Accelerometer, GPS, wifi g,b & n, utp port, usb 2 support and the ability to use usb hardware and of course Bluetooth, and possibly 3G support.

One of the main issues is that people want all this and a long life battery. People will not be looking for a middle unit, they will either want the expensive iPad or something that is cheap and has the features and the battery life.

People will not pay more than half the price of an iPad, for a device that still comes up short of an iPad, its better to save a bit more and get the iPad.
The ability is out there, the problem is, the companies are going to look to produce there own at maybe a little less than the iPad and fail, most people will be looking for a device that performs the same but is a realistic price, they may aswell buy a laptop for the same money and do 100 things more with it.
I really think the pad market needs to look at itself as a pre laptop purchase, not a replacement for it. And so should be so priced (in my opinion). The pad is just a sideways step from a netbook (which again are over priced).

I think it's quite likely that Linux based tablets will dominate the market in a few years. Web OS, Chrome OS, Android and Meego all look very promising.

Meph said,
Even if you don't like Apple, they're good in that they create healthy competition.
They also aren't afraid to make the first move either, clearly.

ppl bought the ipad not because it was a tablet they had a use for but because it was an new apple toy they decided they would find a use for after playing with it. they either found it usefull eventually or stopped using it after a week.
if non apple fans decide they want a tablet to see if they can find a use for it, they will buy the upcoming tablets, but i don't expect the demand to be even similar to the ipad.
like any apple product in an emrging market, their products sell well among loyal apple fans that are going to buy any new apple product regardless, while the rest of the tech consumer market is a little more picky on what it's going to buy and not necessarily early adopters.
overall i think we can expect the non apple tablets to do about as well as the netbook market. which people are already saying is dead despite relatively good sales for a while.
however, depending on teh amount of features and functionality in these non apple tablets, it might force apple to step up their game with fuiture generations of the ipad, unless they think they can keep selling to their same customers based on battery life alone. but then what if non apple tablets have just as good battery life?

it's all wild speculation either way. the only thing for sure in the picture is that new apple products of questionable value such as the ipad will do well regardless because a sizable portion of apples customer base will buy their new products regardless fo the cost, functionality, usefullness or other factors simply because it is apple.

bj55555 said,
iPad is a "juggernaut" device? A big fish in a small bowl is all that it is.
yeah the tablet market is pretty niche. especially for a device that barely bridges the gap between smartphone and laptop.

bj55555 said,
iPad is a "juggernaut" device? A big fish in a small bowl is all that it is.

The small bowl is growing because of the iPad. Predicted 7m sales in 2010 at 400-500 quid a pop they're laughing their way to the bank because of apples high mark ups.

If the potential of the market is so small why are so many manufactures going to enter it? 10 years ago the mp3 player market was a niche

DomZ said,

The small bowl is growing because of the iPad. Predicted 7m sales in 2010 at 400-500 quid a pop they're laughing their way to the bank because of apples high mark ups.

If the potential of the market is so small why are so many manufactures going to enter it? 10 years ago the mp3 player market was a niche

The tablet market is in flux. You can throw those numbers out the window once all the other manufacturers start releasing their products. More players in the game will eat away Apple's market share, but more players aren't going to create demand. The iPad will become a slightly smaller fish in a slightly larger bowl. Once the market becomes flooded with these devices, the market will saturate quickly because supply will outpace demand. With so many manufacturers jumping into to the segment, I see it becoming a commodity market as well. When that happens, Apple's margins are going to get pummeled or they're going to get stuck in another niche segment of over-priced toys.

DomZ said,

The small bowl is growing because of the iPad. Predicted 7m sales in 2010 at 400-500 quid a pop they're laughing their way to the bank because of apples high mark ups.

If the potential of the market is so small why are so many manufactures going to enter it? 10 years ago the mp3 player market was a niche

Netbooks have sold 20million already this year, and estimates are fro 15-20million more. 7 million is not nothing but put in perspective its nothing really great.

rrode74 said,

Netbooks have sold 20million already this year, and estimates are fro 15-20million more. 7 million is not nothing but put in perspective its nothing really great.

iPad has only been out 6 months or so. It's one manufacturer and demand has been greater than supply. Your comparing apples and oranges (no pun intended). 7 million is great (and above expectations) for a first product revision in a new market