Another report confirms tablet sales are on the rise. And to no one's surprise, it appears Apple has a stronghold on the entire market -- a grip the company is unlikely to lose as it readies for the launch of the iPad 3 in March.
Apple will retain more than 50 percent of the market past 2015 according to projections from a recent TrendForce report. The company is expected to control 59.3 percent of the tablet market share in 2015, which is a less-than-10-percent drop from 2012 projections.
Apple's high tablet market share can be attributed to its tablet competitors failing to catch up with iPad's advancements, says the TrendForce report. iPad 3 will further secure its leading status with its solid hardware-software integration and high resolution display, which will give iPad a leg up on other tablets in the market in terms of 2012 sales.
The first-generation Apple iPad was released in 2010; the company immediately snagged up 87 percent of the tablet market. Several consumer electronics companies tried to rally off the success of the iPad including Research in Motion, HP, Samsung and Asus. None of the initial iPad alternatives, however, saw the type of commercial success of the iPad.
By the end of 2011, Apple controlled 66 percent of the tablet market according to TrendForce. This can be attributed to cheaper Android-based tablets entering the market.
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In a separate study, market researcher IHS iSupply revealed Amazon surged in the tablet market during the final quarter of 2011. Amazon shipped 3.9 million units of the Kindle Fire, the company's low-budget Android-based tablet, which was 14.3 percent market share of unit shipments.
By comparison, Apple had shipped 40.4 million units of the iPad (all versions).
Although Amazon still controls less than 10 percent of the tablet market, its rapid tablet sales have been noted by other tablet distributors. Earlier this week, Barnes & Noble announced it would be offering an 8GB model of the Nook Tablet to compete directly with the Amazon Kindle price point.
Barnes & Noble had 7 percent of fourth-quarter market share of unit shipments, moving 1.9 million units of the company's popular low-budget tablets the Nook Color and Nook Tablet.
Amazon and Barnes & Noble finished the year behind Samsung in tablet market share according to IHS iSupply. Many expect that to change as low-budget tablets continue to grow in popularity.
Tablet sales in 2012 are expected to amount to 9.4 million units, a 53.1 percent increase compared to 6.2 million units in 2011. By 2015, tablet sales will reach 16.1 million units globally.