Apple's iOS operating system (OS) will continue to dominate the worldwide media tablet through 2015, research firm Gartner said.

iOS will account for 69 percent of media tablet OSs in 2011, and represent 47 percent of the media tablet market in 2015, helped by strong sales of iPad.

Seeing the response from both consumers and enterprises to the iPad, many vendors are trying to compete by first delivering on hardware and then trying to leverage the platform ecosystem, said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner in a statement.

Many, however, are making the same mistake that was made in the first response wave to the iPhone, as they are prioritizing hardware features over applications, services and overall user experience. Tablets will be much more dependent on the latter than smartphones have been, and the sooner vendors realize that the better chance they have to compete head-to-head with Apple, Milanesi added.

Gartner analysts said Apple has reinvented the tablet PC market with iPad and delivered a better ecosystem. The richer the ecosystem, the stronger the pull for consumers.

Worldwide Sales of Media Tablets to End Users by OS (Thousands of Units)

 OS

2010

2011

2012

2015

iOS

  14,766

  47,964

   68,670

  138,497

Market Share (%)

83.9

68.7

63.5

47.1

Android

2,502

13,898

26,382

113,457

Market Share (%)

14.2

19.9

24.4

38.6

MeeGo

107

788

1,271

3,057

Market Share (%)

0.6

1.1

1.2

1.0

WebOS

0

2,796

4,245

8,886

Market Share (%)

0.0

4.0

3.9

3.0

QNX

0

3,901

7,134

29,496

Market Share (%)

0.0

5.6

6.6

10.0

Other Operating Systems

234

432

510

700

Market Share (%)

1.3

0.6

0.5

0.2

Total Market

17,610

   69,780

   108,211

   294,093

Source: Gartner (April 2011)

Last month, Apple, along with the launch of iPad2, has officially updated its iOS mobile operating system to 4.3, with features including a faster browser, iTunes home sharing and enhancements to AirPlay.

In the latest software update, Cupertino, California-based Apple has improved the performance of its Safari browser by adding the Nitro JavaScript engine, which runs JavaScript up to twice as fast as in iOS 4.2.2 allowing faster page loads.

iOS 4.3 also features certain improvements to AirPlay, - the wireless technology that lets streaming of content from iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to HDTV via Apple TV. In addition to music, movies, and photos, AirPlay now streams video from Photos app. For example, one can shoot a home video and instantly share it with everyone in the room.

AirPlay also allows one to bring photos to life on the TV screen by using new slideshow transitions, or shoot a video on iPad 2, iPhone or iPod touch and stream it directly from the Photos app to Apple TV.

Another interesting feature in iOS 4.3 is that one can use the side switch of the iPad to either lock the screen rotation or mute the audio.

The iOS 4.3 allows playing of an entire iTunes library, including music, movies and TV shows, from anywhere in the house on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch through a shared Wi-Fi network.