While customers wait with baited breath for the launch of Apple's iPad sequel, the iPad 2.0 or the next version of iPad, other tablet makers are experiencing jitters, anticipating lower tablet sales, courtesy the new iPad.
Media reports suggest that the next rendition of iPad is due in the first quarter of 2011. Computerworld cited Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co. as stating that iPad 2 will be due in April 2011.
A report by Taiwan-based newswire DigiTimes cited sources from notebook players who stated that if the launch of the next version of iPad in April 2011 is true then it will seriously weaken other PC vendors' tablet sales. Also the sources forecast a sharp decline in demand for tablets in the third quarter of 2011 after the war of the tablets peaks in the second quarter.
The report also questioned the optimism surrounding a surge in tablet-PC demand in 2011 whereby some forecasts claim volumes will touch 45-55 million in 2011.
While some manufacturers like Dell, Samsung and Toshiba have already launched their tablets, for others who are planning a launch in first quarter of 2011, the arrival of iPad second edition does not bode well.
Strategy Analytics data suggests that Apple's iPad was the hands-down winner for Q3 2010 and Q2 2010 boasting 4.2 million and 3.3 million iPad shipments respectively. Apple ruled the global tablet OS market share as well with Apple iOS holding 94.3 percent and 95.5 percent share of the market for Q2 and Q3 respectively in 2010. Android tablets booked 0.1 million units in shipments in both the quarters of 2010.
Other reports suggest that the next iPad could sport a 5 MP and a VGA camera which will be supplied by its iPhone camera supplier Omnivsion. The next generation iPad would be faster powered by the multi-core ARM Cortex A9 chip which could possibly be christened A5. Also a patent filing revealed that the next iPad could be lighter as it could use a carbon fibre casing instead of the aluminum casing.
Another cause of worry in the growing list of tablet PC makers' woes could be that Apple would follow its iPhone 3G strategy and would push its older iPad version at a cheaper price. Thus Apple would be positioned both in the up-market and down-market segments which would further erode opportunities for other tablet makers.