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"We believe Apple's lead in the tablet market will prove difficult to close by the onslaught of competing products coming over the next several quarters," he writes in a note to clients issued early Monday. "Ultimately, we expect the slew of upcoming competition to fall flat from a user experience standpoint while struggl[ing] to materially undercut the iPad on price."
Fortune Story on CNN Money
 

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Interesting that Apple is the largest buyer of FLASH accounting for 20%-25% of the world's supply and that it has locked down much of the world's touch screen manufacturing capacity.

My two cents is that Apple has one heck of a lead and its going to several years (not months) for anyone to seriously compete.

Sure other tablets will offer similar functionality but unless they can sell for half the price (unlikely anytime soon due to manufacturing constraints), its hard to see them making up ground.
 

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it's a pretty small niche market

travelling as much as I have lately, I still haven't seen more than 2 iPads out in the wild, compared to thousands of traditional laptops, and a lesser number of the netbooks
 

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I can tell you there are a growing number of in them in the F- and J-class aircraft cabins and executive lounges around the world. I've seen up to half of the business class seats using iPads.

I fly coach on flights less than three hours, and while they're a lot less prevalent, it's not unusual to see at least one on a narrowbody or RJ.

High-milers are really taking to them, because they boot up/down instantly and essentially do anything that a notebook needs to do. (In some cases, better, in others not as well).
 

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tikker, your anecdotal evidence aside, I would hardly categorize over $2 billion in sales in a few months a "small niche market"

The fact that every major manufacturer is furiously developing plans for a tablet and several major companies have shelved previously announced devices suggests that this is anticipated to be a significant market niche in the future.

In addition, I'm not sure that the market is business lounges. In our house, the iPad is the most used consumer electronic device these days and it never leaves our home.

I think the iPad is a consumer electronics device, not a business tool.
 

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+1 to the above. I take my iPad to client meetings but 95% of the time spent using it is for recreational purposes. It's also pretty handy to have by your bed so you can check email when you're half-asleep in the mornings (with phone-sized devices you need to focus more on where you're touching). No urgent emails = 30 more minutes of sleep time!
 

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james99, but why? (and how much you willing to bet ;) )

The point of the article is that competitors have to build a significantly better mousetrap or dramatically undercut the price. Neither of which seems feasible at this point. I eagerly await Android (and other) tablet announcements but so far everything I've seen has either been a disappointment or too costly.

To date, I've seen nothing that makes me think, "Okay, Apple has some really serious competition here" which is what will be necessary for Android, or any other OS, to take over the lead.
 

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Pure numbers. RIM and Apple are one to one. Android is one to many.

CES 2011 will be about tablets and most of them will be Android based.

On another note, I did read in todays elevator that LG isn't making a android tablet. Not sure why though.
 

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I wouldn't go so far as to say 'majority' because Apple will be furiously trying to protect itself with iPad 2.0, but I do believe Android will capture a lot of share in 2012.

My prediction is 50% Apple, 25% Android, 10% RIM, 15% all others.
 

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Android is one to many.
Yes but that was the reason that Windows CE and Windows MP3 players were supposed to be the winners in MP3 payers, Tablets and Smartphones.

FWIW, I want a competitive marketplace and would love to see Android tablets succeed. I just don't see it happening in the next year or two, though I hope I'm mistaken.
 

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The general feeling I get is more and more businesses are adopting that iPad for use in their environment -not to replace laptops- but as a complimentary tool that becomes part of their mobile computing arsenal. This could potentially translate to pretty significant momentum for the iPad.

Once a medium-to-large company decides to invest in a particular technology, they aren't going to ditch it two weeks later because they don't like it.
 

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Even if there are competitive Android tablets coming, one of the main points of the article is that Apple has locked up manufacturing capacity of some key components. Therefore competitors are going to have a hard time ramping up their supply chains.
 

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^^^

or will find themselves paying a premium for components.

In addition, I'm not sure that the market is business lounges. In our house, the iPad is the most used consumer electronic device these days and it never leaves our home.

I think the iPad is a consumer electronics device, not a business tool.
Agreed, I was just responding to Tikker's comment regarding iPad in the road warrior world. In my house as well, the iPad gets the most traffic and we are eagerly waiting for v2 to be announced so that we can get one or two more.
 

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It's probably dangerous to make assumptions on tablet adoption based on android phone adoption. Unless all the new android tablets are going to be carrier subsidized, once the price point gets close to the apple product it becomes much harder to compete.
That's the main reason the low end iPad comes in where it does, it cuts out most of the wiggle room the remaining competitors have, Apple pays up front for its components and gets excellent deals for doing so, the other manufacturers don't all enjoy such financial liquidity.
 

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$2 billion in sales in a few months a "small niche market"
Of course, with what Apple charges for their products, that wouldn't be a lot of units. ;-)
 

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using a monetary value is a bit misleading

compare the raw number of ipads to laptops and/or netbooks and it's a teeny tiny portion of portable computing market
 

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But it's a portion of the market that didn't even exist before the iPad was released, so it's quite an impressive feat, I think.
 

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A key aspect to Apple's iPad rollout is that while the other companies are struggling to rush out their first generation tablets Apple is now working on their second while planning out their third and fourth generation versions (I say that based on standard R&D planning processes and not on insider knowledge), so they have at least a generation lead in the marketplace.

Whether they hold on to that lead is another matter, but in general Apple is famous for skipping a generation on occasion, as risky as that can be.
 
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