The Time Magazine list this year has placed the Apple iPad as the most sought-after gadget in the US, ahead of Samsung’s Android-powered Galaxy Smartphone, Apple’s own iPhone, and Google and Apple TV. Gartner Research predicted that PC shipments in 2011 will slow down to 409 million units, a 15.9% rise against 18.1% growth predicted earlier. This drop will be partly due to media tablets gaining ascendancy that will hold 10% of the PC market by 2014.
Tablets have been on the market for a few years but never as a serious challenger to the laptop or the PC. However, as user need increasingly moved towards mobile and voice-based devices, the 10” touchscreen Apple iPad scorched the charts, and is all set to sell a whopping 10 million units in the last three quarters of 2010.
As Apple slipped on third-quarter forecasts, managing to sell 4.09 million units of the iPad against a forecast of 4.5 million pieces by analysts due to supply chain problems, Steve Jobs admitted that Apple was riding a tiger by the tail. The tablet market demand was inherent, without pushing sales. It was only because consumers were not getting a reliable and adequate functionality-based product that made the early day tabs bomb in the marketplace.
Six months after the Apple blitz, Samsung launched the first serious rival to iPad, the 7” touch screen Galaxy Tab based on Android OS, first in Europe and later in US. The US model of Samsung Galaxy Tab is sold through the four mobile operators and attractively priced from $399 to $599 down payment and balance through monthly bills, almost half the down payment of iPad. Its luxury version, unveiled yesterday at Amsterdam’s famed Millionaire fair, came with a bluetooth headset and a leather case costing a cool $1,000.