With Apple's launch of the second version of its iPad, research house Ovum predicts that it will take until 2015 for devices running Google's Android platform to catch up.
Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach said that in such a fast-moving market, Apple was forced to release a new version of its iPad hardware to stay ahead.
"Apple clearly had first mover advantage. However, its competitors have been hot on its heals with a slew of tablet devices from big brand vendors such as Samsung, Motorola, HP, HTC and RIM, all of which have announced tablet devices which aim to replicate the Apple experience, which is notoriously difficult to match," Leach said.
"Much of the early growth of the tablet market can be attributable to the Apple iPad, a device whose sales constituted 90 per cent of the total market opportunity in 2010. The remaining 10 per cent of shipments in 2010 was made up of devices running variants of Google's Android OS".
Leach said most device vendors are looking to exploit Google's latest version of the Android operating system, honeycomb, to deliver a user experience that can compete with Apple's own iOS.
"However, some vendors, notably HP and RIM, are choosing to invest in their own software platforms," he said.
"Ovum's belief is that the platform dominance of Apple and Google will continue through 2011 and beyond, albeit with devices based on Google's software platform commanding an increasing proportion of the total market opportunity".
"However, devices based on Google's platforms will only overtake those based on Apple's platform by 2015, when we forecast 36 per cent and 35 per cent market shares respectively, of a total market with shipments of about 150 million units in 2015," Leach said.
This compares with Ovum's estimate of 10 per cent for Google and 90 per cent for Apple at the end of 2010.
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