Forecast says Android to make big consumer gains, but iPad continues to rule the enterprise

January 23, 2012

There was good news and bad news for Google and other supporters of Android tablets in a new report by analyst Jack Gold. The principal analyst with J.Gold Associates says he thinks tablets will remain a distinct category for consuming rich media and web interaction for years to come despite pressure from a new generation of Ultrabooks and smartphones with bigger displays. 

Ultimately, Gold thinks the Ultrabooks will have a bigger impact on the notebook market, and, along with tablets, help to marginalize the shrinking market for netbooks. 

“The push by phone manufacturers to ‘up size’ their displays will have a greater impact on tablets, particularly those with display sizes of less than 7 inches,” he said. 

For the next two years Gold expects Apple’s iPad to continue to lead the tablet market, but by 2014-15 things will change with Android models gaining a majority of the consumer market. Although it’s not clear whether any one Android model can take on Apple (though Amazon’s Kindle Fire is having a go) Gold says the sheer number and variety of Android models will overwhelm the iPad. 

“But iPad will continue to hold the largest share of the enterprise market where specialized features built into some Android tablets will be valued but which will take longer to gain share,” said Gold. 

He sees Windows-powered tablets also making inroads over the next few years, particularly on the enterprise side with consumer to follow. 

As for RIM’s struggling PlayBook, the company has a chance with its PlayBook 2.0 upgrade and continued investment to make gains in the enterprise. “RIM’s QNX BlackBerry 10/PlayBook OS) will take a reasonable share of the enterprise market especially in security conscious industries and governments (while also being embedded in automotive and other products),” said Gold.

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