Analyst company Ovum predicts that by 2015 Asia Pacific markets will account for 35 percent of the global total for tablets what it describes as 'lite OS' devices. This is a regional increase 20 percent on 2010, with growth predicted to rise from 2.8 million devices in 2010 to 52 million in 2015.
Ovum predicts North America and WEstern Europe will achieve the highest penetration of 'lite OS' devices by 2015 but says the "largest regional slice of shipments" by the end of this period will be in Asia Pacific because of the size of the potential addressable markets and relatively low PC penetration.
Portable devices tracked for the forecast that used 'lite' operating systems included the the iPad, Samsung's Galaxy Tab, the Blackberry Playbook and other convertible form factor models, based on iOS, Android and Blackberry's Tablet OS.
“This huge growth in shipments will be dominated by tablet-style technologies such as the iPad and will mainly be driven by consumers buying devices to complement their smartphones," says Ovum principal analyst Tony Cripps. "This will either be as a third device where there is a high-penetration of PCs or the primary computing device where there is low-penetration."
However, Cripps says the growth in shipments of these devices will not detract significantly from the demand for smartphones, because smartphones ease of use is greater.
According to Ovum, Google's Android and Chrome may dominate the global market by 2015, pushing Apple iOS into second place. “We believe that Apple constituted 90 percent of the market in 2010," says Cripps. "However, by 2015 we expect this market share to drop to 35 percent and Google’s market share to rise to 36 percent. Other software platforms, such as RIM’s Blackberry Tablet OS and HP’s webOS, will find some success but between them all they will only account for 29 percent of the market.
“This is because the dominant software platforms, Apple and Google, will attract the most attention from the cream of the developers. As a result they will have the best, most talked about applications and content."