Save some customers for the other guys, Apple.
If this report from Digitimes is correct, Apple expects the iPad 2 to sell more than twice as fast as its predecessor. While the original iPad breached one million sales after a month in stores, component suppliers estimate some 2-3 million iPad 2s will ship this March. Taiwan expects to ship a total of 10-12 million iPad 2s in Q2, all told.
As you'll remember from the Apple event earlier this week, some fifteen million iPads sold in 2010. Those were impressive numbers, but it looks like they were only the tip of a very deep iceberg. Overall, 40 million iPad 2s are likely to ship in 2011.
Late last year, total tablet sales for 2011 were estimated at 55 million. If that holds true, Apple could very easily end 2011 in command of 75-80% of the tablet market.
Analysts seem to be taking it for granted that legions of customers are waiting out there, fat wads of cash clenched in their hands, waiting for an iPad with cameras. And they may well be right. But, if this ratio of iPads-to-other-tablets holds true, I worry about the future of the form-factor.
We aren't in the middle of a tablet revolution. This is an iPad revolution. Samsung Galaxy Tabs and Archos 10s aren't popping up in schools across the world. When I hear folks on campus chattering away about a hot new tablet, it isn't the Xoom.
When the iPad first launched, it seemed that solid competing tablets weren't that far behind. But here we are a year later, and the closest thing to "competition" the iPad has are a "giant smartphone" and an $800 fingerprint magnet. Samsung has doubts that their own flagship tablet can stand up to the iPad.
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We've been down this road before, with Android smartphones. The first wave was disappointing, the second wave was closer and, now that we're into the third wave of handsets, a few credible iPhone rivals have emerged. How much longer will we have to wait before the iPad sees some competition?