Tablet Market and Google Geeks
In December 2010, I wrote a blog about the cell phone market, operating systems and saturation. I essentially concluded that based on the ‘rule of three,’ I expect that Between past and current wall street darlings Apple, Google, RIM and Microsoft, one of these competitors would ultimately drop out of (or be absorbed by a competitor in) the cell phone market. I think if we pondered 5-7 years ago that RIM would drop so far in the market we would (at a minimum) second guess ourselves. I think if 3 or 4 years ago we asked if a new competitor could not only grab a portion of Apple’s smartphone market share, but actually exceed it substantially, we would do the same. These are realities as of 5/31/11 Nielsen research ( https://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/?p=27793). As you can see, RIM usage sits at 23%, Apple at 26%, and Android at 36%. Microsoft comes in at 10% between their Windows Mobile and Windows 7 platforms).
My reason for revisiting this topic is because of Apple’s staggering dominance of the tablet market, and what it could mean for business, for investors, and for fun! I should also disclose that I am quite the google fan for my personal computing / smartphone life, and work for a Microsoft Gold Partner in PEI. Apple is far and away the front-runner in the tablet market. I can’t read a tech blog without hearing a relentless amount of praise and superlatives suggesting that Apple will forever dominate the tablet market. Without delving too deep into my own pet peeves with each brand, I wanted to simply take a broad look at the market and send a gentle reminder to those thinking of investing in a tablet purchase that markets change (see above) nearly as quickly as technology itself.
It’s my personal opinion that Google will allow the market to stagnate and for users to reach a certain malaise about using Apple’s highly proprietary and non-multitasking systems (as happened with the iphone) before really ramping up its tablet operations. Apple has also historically had a number of fairly obvious technical snafus with their hardware (do a web search for ‘Antennagate’). On a more somber note, the health of CEO Steve Jobs may also play a part in the continued ground-breaking innovation that Apple has become known for.
While many would consider Google a minor player in the tablet market at the moment, I predict that in 3 or 4 years they will be dominant, with Apple trailing, Blackberry holding on for dear life, and a litany of others (Microsoft/HP/Dell) bringing up the rear. As evidenced in the phone market, Google simply offers more flexibility, a more ‘open’ approach to apps and products, and a commitment to technical excellence that makes a lot of us tech nerds proud.
-Daniel Mastracco, PEI