Google set to challenge Apple in tablet race

Google is set to challenge Apple’s dominance in the tablet market as small businesses increasingly embrace tablet technology, according to a new report.


According to independent technology analysts Ovum, global shipments of portable internet devices will hit 150 million per year in 2015.


Furthermore, Ovum predicts 35% of global shipments in 2015 will be in the Asia-Pacific region, up from 20% in 2010.


Ovum’s figures indicate that by the end of 2015, Google’s operating systems will dominate the market, pushing current frontrunner Apple’s iOS into second place.


Ovum principal analyst Tony Cripps says Apple constituted 90% of the market in 2010.


“However, by 2015 we expect this market share to drop to 35% and Google’s market share to rise to 36%,” Cripps says.


“Other software platforms, such as RIM’s Blackberry Tablet OS and HP’s webOS, will find some success but between them all they will only account for 29% of the market.”


“This is because the dominant software platforms, Apple and Google, will attract the most attention from the cream of the developers.”


“As a result, they will have the best, most talked about applications and content and, when all is said and done, this is what people will consider when making a purchasing decision.”


The portable devices tracked in Ovum’s forecast use ‘lite’ operating systems such as Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and RIM’s BlackBerry Tablet OS.


They include tablet devices such as the iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the BlackBerry PlayBook as well as clamshell and convertible form factors.


Foad Fadaghi, research director of independent technology analysts Telsyte, says businesses will embrace tablet technology as companies continue to improve their product offerings.


“It’s difficult [for businesses] to overlook the Apple iPad, and this year will see the release of the iPad 2. A lot of businesses will be waiting for that,” Fadaghi says.


“The Android platform will continue to grow, supported by a vast range of manufacturers. If businesses are considering an Android tablet, they should wait to see what happens with the iPad 2 and Android 3.0.”


Fadaghi predicts retail, wholesale, professional services, and mining and engineering to be the main beneficiaries of tablet technology for its ability to increase communication and productivity.


“You’re always on, you’re always connected. It’s a horizontal product – everyone will need these devices in the future regardless of the business they’re in,” he says.


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