January 07, 2011 // By: Frank Völkel
Who would have thought it? Along with the Volkswagen Beetle and the Sony PlayStation, the Apple iPad is now one of the most successful product launches in economic history. In Germany, almost 500,000 iPads have already been sold, while an estimated 10 million tablet PCs flew off the shelves last year in the United States. Around one million tablet PCs are predicted to be sold in Germany in 2011, and the iPad is destined to remain the measure of all things, despite new competing products such as the Samsung GALAXY Tab and the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook – see also the article Top 10 Business Apps for the iPad.
And that’s not the end of the story. More than a third of the conventional PC market is set to be taken over by tablet devices, making every third new PC a tablet computer. At least, that is what analysts Goldman Sachs are predicting. If we believe the mobile advertising company Smaato, by 2013, there will be more smartphones with access to the Internet than there will be conventional PCs.
Of the mobile devices sold in 2011, 85% will have an Internet browser. In the coming year, there are slated to be 82 million mobile Internet users throughout Europe. The market share of mobile operating systems will remain constant, with 37% Symbian (Nokia), 25% Android, 17% iOS (Apple), 15% RIM (BlackBerry), and 6% other providers.
What is conspicuous about the new tablet market is the almost complete lack of the two heavyweights Intel and Microsoft, which have been selling their processors and operating systems in the traditional PC segment (netbooks, notebooks, desktop PCs) successfully for nearly 20 years now. The information technology research and advisory company Gartner assumes that smartphones like the iPhone and tablet PCs like the iPad will be a match for PCs with virtual desktops – see the article Virtual Desktops Through Citrix Receiver 1.1.
In retrospect, it took the mobile Internet almost 12 years to get through to the masses. The BlackBerry was the first e-mail machine for those on the move, and to this day, surfing with it is not as easy and enjoyable as with the iPhone. Apple has spawned entire ecosystems, including apps and functions.
The mobile Internet is becoming increasingly important, the more so as location-based services (LBS) are experiencing great popularity. The technologies required, such as GSM/EDGE/HSPA/HSPA+, are being continuously extended and exist in the form of the mobile technology standard LTE in Sweden, Norway, and parts of Germany and Austria.