Android ascendant

Apple, Apple, Apple. Will they own the future of computing, the way they owned the mp3 player market with the iPod? Or will they shrink to become a minority, albeit very profitable player, like they did in the PC market? That's the question the tech industry has been speculating about recently. After all, after a slow start Google's Android operating system has overtaken Apple's iOS in market share among phones, leading many to assume the same will happen with tablets. But unimpressive sales of the Motorola Xoom Android tablet have led others to conclude Apple will dominate that market for the foreseeable future.

But this is all just speculation, really. Now the analysts at Gartner have tried to be a bit more scientific. No-one really understands the metrics analysts use to come up with their long-term predictions, but there's money riding on it, so you can bet they try their best to make 'em accurate. And Gartner say that Apple will lose its majority share of the tablet market - but not just to Android.

Rather, it's a coalition of operating systems - Android, the QNX software that will run on BlackBerry's PlayBook, and the WebOS software running on the new HP TouchPad - that will together push Apple down to 47% of the tablet market by 2015. Android will account for 39%.

Is this right? We'll have to wait and see. The general trend is surely right: as every large electronics company in the world gets in on the Android game, its share is sure to increase. But we do wonder if they're being generous predicting 10% for BlackBerry's PlayBook. We guess we'll see when it's released in the US in a couple of weeks.

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