Preston Gralla

Analyst says Android tablets will overtake iPads; Microsoft won't be a factor

October 13, 2010 2:38 PM EDT
The iPad may rule today, but eventually Android tablets will become more popular, while Microsoft will remain a non-factor. So says Gene Munster, Senior Research Analyst at Piper Jaffray. And I think he's absolutely right.

In an interview on Business Insider, Munster was asked if Apple will continue to dominate tablets, or whether Android tablets will catch up. He answered:

I think it will play very much like the iPhone played out. I think for the first year or so, it's going to be advantage, Apple. But I think that as more of the Android tablets come out and get optimized, you're going to see some very stiff competition.

As a category, the tablet is undeniably going to be the winning category in mobile computing in the next decade, but as far as the market share win, ultimately we think that Apple won't have the majority of the market share. It will probably be with Android-based tablets.
Munster doesn't expect there to be a wide difference between Apple and Android tablets, with each getting close to 50% market share, and Android beating out Apple by a hair.

As for Microsoft, he essentially sees no future:

Microsoft is coming from a standing start. Unfortunately, for Microsoft, they've got a lot of work to do if they want to be relevant.
How bad is it for Microsoft? He sees even MeeGo beating it.

Munster is right about Android tablets beating out iPads, because Apple will likely continue with essentially a one-size-fits-all model, while Android tablets will be available in many different sizes, aimed at many different audiences, at many different price points. Niche marketing will win over mass marketing.