Gartner is a well-trusted tech oracle, but when it comes to predicting events in a 5-year timeframe, predictions become largely equivalent to palm-reading. Well, there might be one exception – tablets. Apple has basically created the tablet market with the original iPad and Gartner's latest prognosis says that Cupertino is to remain the dominant company. But even Steve Jobs won't be able to sustain the overwhelming popularity that the iPad is enjoying nowadays – the tablet's share will slip to some 69% this year and continue falling to around 47% in 2015.
Google's Android Honeycomb has the support of pretty much every other manufacturer out there, but this – in Gartner's views – won't prove enough for a quick start. Honeycomb tablets are to conquer the market gradually, starting from a 14% share in 2010, to reach nearly 20% this year and sprinting to the finish to close the gap with almost 39% in 2015.
The other major contender out there seems to be RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook. The 7-inch tablet holds ground with its business allure and QNX-based platform, but it will encounter one major obstacle on its way – apps. Nevertheless, Gartner forecasts bright future for the tablet which will supposedly occupy 5.6 of the market this year, only to reach the healthy 10% in 2015. But finally, HP's TouchPad will face the most difficulties. Gartner's predictions speak for a slow start for the tablet which will finish 2015 with a weak 3% presence.
Just last week, the analysts from Gartner presented us with their 5-year perspective on the cell phone market, but it was a whole different story with Android on top of the charts and Windows Phone picking up pace. Microsoft's OS, somewhat surprisingly, is not even in the forecast here, which makes us think that we might see a whole new model to reflect the three-horse race that Redmond wants to stage. Whatever the future brings, one thing is certain – the market will be a very competitive one and this is always good for the end-user.