Can Windows 8 tablets eke out mobile market share?
Apple's iPad continues to dominate the mobile market and is expected to account for 61.4% of worldwide media tablet sales in 2012 - despite the advent of Windows 8 and Amazon’s popular Kindle Fire.
"[Although] PC vendors and phone manufacturers want a piece of the pie and [are] launching themselves into the media tablet market, so far, we have seen very limited success outside of Apple with its iPad," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi explained.
"As vendors struggled to compete on price and differentiate enough on either the hardware or ecosystem, inventories were built and only 60 million units actually reached the hands of consumers across the world. The situation has not improved in early 2012, when the arrival of the new iPad has reset the benchmark for the product to beat."
According to Milanesi, numerous vendors are waiting for Windows 8 to launch and will try to enter the hyper-competitive market with a dual-platform approach - hoping the Microsoft brand will help them in both the enterprise and consumer spaces.
Indeed, Windows 8 tablets are projected to account for 4.1% of media tablet sales this year, and grow to 11.8% of sales by the end of 2016.
"IT departments will see Windows 8 as the opportunity to deploy tablets on an OS that is familiar to them and with devices offered by many enterprise-class suppliers," Milanesi said. "This means that we see Windows 8 as a strong IT-supplied offering more so than an OS with a strong consumer appeal."
Milanesi also noted that Android tablets are forecast to account for approximately 31.9% percent of media tablet sales in 2012. Further Android adoption, says Milanesi, is currently constrained by a lack of applications dedicated to tablets and their specific capabilities.