Gartner projects that Apple's iOS will hold 47 percent of the tablet operating system market in 2015 with Android at 38.6 percent. RIM's QNX will have a respectable 10 percent of the tablet market in 2015. The big assumption for Gartner over the next 4 years: Microsoft will have no tablet answer.
As noted previously, projections for market conditions in 2015 are a largely academic exercise, but Gartner's crystal ball has a few interesting twists:
- Gartner doesn't see Microsoft as a tablet player at all through 2015. To grasp, this prediction you have to assume that the software giant won't figure out tablets---period. No Windows 8 tablets. No Windows Phone tablets. Microsoft won't have a clue for 4 years even if Nokia somehow makes a table---a reasonable assumption. I don't have a ton of confidence about Microsoft's tablet strategy, but to think the company won't have any tablet offering sounds nutty to me.
- Apple will dominate the tablet market to 2012 with almost 64 percent market share. Then market share plunges to 47 percent in 2015.
- On the opposite end of the spectrum, Android market share ramps from 24.4 percent in 2012 to 38.6 percent in 2015. You can interpret that to mean it will take four years for Android to get its act together on tablets.
- RIM will take some time to get developer interest, but it will get there argues Gartner.
The monkey wrench in all of these forecasts is Microsoft. Do we really expect that the HP's WebOS will have more market share---3 percent in 2015---than whatever the software giant cooks up?