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Forrester: iPad tops in 2016, custom Android to pass stock

updated 10:45 am EDT, Tue April 24, 2012

Forrester sees Amazon undermining Google

A new long-term estimate by Forrester Research has painted a strong picture for Apple in the tablet space. It saw Apple keeping its lead even up to 2016, when it saw the iPad having 53 percent of the space. A total of 760 million tablets would ship that year.

Android would play a significant part in curbing the iPad's growth, but Google was facing a sincere risk of having its platform hijacked by others, Forrester said. Around 2014, it expected "proprietary" Android tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire to overtake those officially part of the regular Android platform, leaving the official Android not just smaller than proprietary by 2016 but smaller than Windows 8 and later versions.

Google has publicly been begrudgingly mentioning Amazon's success and is rumored to be developing a cheap reference Android tablet to reassert the official Android platform as the main one. Although Google touts Android's customization as an advantage, it may be frustrated by devices like the Kindle Fire, as their lack of official services like Google Play and YouTube mean Google doesn't get any revenue other than web ads.

Windows 8 wouldn't start accelerating until 2014 as it would take time for a proper ecosystem to fall into place and give a "fully capable" experience in the Metro interface, instead of having to revert to the desktop. Microsoft might have trouble ever catching up, as by the time it was ready to grow it would be "chasing a leader with a multi-year head start," Forrester said in reference to Apple.

One potential wildcard was the addition of "frames," or extensions like docking stations and keyboard docks. These add features to tablets that suit them to more traditional desktop features and fill in many of the gaps. Researchers saw tablets truly starting to replace PCs in 2013 and starting to bite sharply into notebook sales. Desktops might actually benefit by seeing users consider tablets as complements to their desktops where they're active replacements for notebooks. [via TechCrunch]

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Such long-term predictions are

    less than useless. One good Android tablet sold at a steep loss could change everything. Samsung is likely to be the one to try that strategy just to gain huge market share.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    these predictions are BS when they were saying Windows 8 tablets would have major market share in 201X, and they are BS when predicting iPad will dominate in 2016. We have no idea what's going to happen 4 years from now.

    Besides, the Mayans could be right and the world will come to an end this December...

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Mayans...

    ... never thought the world would end in 2012. Their calendar just indicates a new "age" starting soon, similar to what the year 2000 meant for us.

    Apart from that nitpicking: yes, total BS on that 2016 prediction. Those people can hardly predict what will happen in a year, how come they can now see what 2016 will be like in tablet-terms? No-one knows, maybe iOS 8 and the new new new iPad (aka "iPad fifth-generation") will suck in 2014 and all power will belong to Android (I doubt it, but still). Maybe even weirder things will happen, who's to say.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The new "F-word"

    Re: " expected 'proprietary' Android tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire to overtake those officially part of the regular Android platform."

    "Fragmentation" was the old, dominant Android F-word.
    The new F-word is "forking."

    It's just a matter of time before Samsung forks their own version of Android. They're crushing the life out of all other Android hardware partners like HTC. And they can extend their advantage over the also-rans of the Android world by forking a custom version of Android, optimized for their own specific hardware.

    Oh, and millions of Android activations in China don't count toward "official" Android market share. They're from lowball no-name manufacturers who replace Google search with Baidu, swap out the official Android Market (oops, I mean "Google Play"), and worst of all, have no connection to Google's ad machine.

    So yes, Samsung can and probably will fork Android. And that will put a stake in the heart of Ice Cream Sandwich, Fruitcake, and Krispy Kreme (or whatever all those future totally-ignored Google fork releases will be called.)

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Motorola fork on the way

    Google claims to have put up a "firewall" between themselves and Motorola. This is typical overblown Google-speak designed to soothe their Android hardware partners. It translates to "Please don't dump Android for Windows Phone. We promise we won't give Motorola an unfair advantage."

    Google has thus painted themselves into a corner. No special treatment for Motorola, despite the fact that it's so far it's a $12.5 billion money pit? Really? Google needs to make that money back (most likely through ad revenue since, as we all know, 96% of Google's revenue does come from ads.)

    The solution: break off a special Motorola-optimized fork of Android.

    That would allow Google to keep shipping vanilla, generic releases of Android to all their normal "second class" hardware partners. (Minus Samsung since they will most likely create their own proprietary fork.) Yet Motorola would still get special first class treatment because Google could optimize that Motorola fork for their specific hardware.

    Then again, maybe not. Having the latest, greatest version of Android gives manufacturers zero competitive advantage. 63% of all Android devices are still running Gingerbread (2.3). That's two major releases behind the times. Honeycomb (3.0-3.2) is running on only only 3.3% of all Android devices. And Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0-4.0.3) is running on only 2.9% of all Android devices.

    We'll see if the Motorola fork can break 1%. I doubt it.

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