Report: iPad to keep tablet lead until next year

While many firms are rumoured to be launching tablets this year, Apple’s iPad will not face a serious competitor until 2011, market research firm iSuppli predicted.

Report: iPad to keep tablet lead until next year

When tablet rivals do emerge, they will have a hard time matching iPad’s customised applications, the firm said.

The iPad, which will likely account for nearly three quarters of worldwide tablet shipments this year, will hold at least 70% of the market in 2011 and 62% by 2012, iSuppli said in a report. Apple sold 3.3 million iPads last quarter.

Competitors such as HP, Dell and Lenovo are rolling out Android and Windows 7-based tablet devices to rival the 9.7-inch iPad, but they will struggle to compete with iPad’s mix of hardware, software, operating system and applications, the firm said.

“It’s still unlikely that any of the competitors will be able to equal the overall performance experience of the iPad,” said Rhoda Alexander, the firm’s director of monitor research.

Among other possible rivals, iSuppli cited rumors that BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion is trying to enter the tablet market with its recent purchase of the domain name “BlackPad.”

It dismissed reports that Google will release a Chrome OS tablet in November, saying “any touch-enabled Chrome based device would be more likely to appear in 2011 or beyond.”

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