Gartner: Tablet manufacturers are waiting for iPad 3 and Windows 8

by Doug Drinkwater

February 22 2012

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi, a research VP in the company’s mobile devices division, has said that she doesn’t expect tablets to feature prominently at next week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, as tablet manufacturers hold tight to spy on the iPad or begin building for Windows 8.

“I don’t expect the Mobile World Congress (MWC) to be big on tablets”, said Milanesi, when speaking with TabTimes yesterday. “There wasn’t a great deal of new tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show– there were more Ultrabooks and smartphones, and I get the impression that the show will be more about smartphones once again.”

Milanesi believes that this is a culmination of two things – the idea that Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) has come a ‘little bit early’ for tablets, and the view that ‘everyone is struggling’ to match the Apple iPad user interface on the Android platform. She also believes that the contrasting roll-out of LTE connectivity for tablets in the US and in Europe is causing some vendors to hold up for parity across both continents, and claims that tablet manufacturers may also be holding tight to see what Apple will bring with the iPad 3, or to develop new tablets based on the Windows 8 OS later in the year.

“I think a lot of vendors know that anything they bring out in Barcelona will almost be obsolete in a week’s time if Apple brings out the iPad 3 in early March. Windows 8 is also so close now that maybe some vendors are waiting for that.”

The Gartner analyst believes that tablet prices are due to crash at some point in the new quarter, a move which she reckons will push developers into begin focusing properly on making apps for Ice Cream Sandwich and, when it arrives, Microsoft’s Windows 8.

If you want to keep track of the latest news from the Mobile World Congress next week, click and bookmark our MWC landing page.

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