The Apple iPad managed to dominate the tablet market in 2010, with the only real competitor coming in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Tab near the end of the year. Even then, the iPad held an overwhelming majority of the market share, and the research firm International Data Corporation expects that the iPad will continue its hold through 2011. According to the IDC's numbers, there were 10.1 media tablets shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010, with the iPad making up 73 percent of the market, down from 93 percent the previous quarter. The Galaxy Tab grabbed about 17 percent of the Q4 2010 market share.
Looking ahead, the IDC believes that the iPad will "maintain a 70-80% share of the market" in 2011. Motorola's XOOM has the features to compete with Apple's tablet, the firms says, but it's "relatively high price" could keep it from gaining significant traction with consumers. As for the other tablets coming later this year, the IDC believes that only a few from large manufacturers and/or with competitive pricing will capture a meaningful amount of market share.
There's no doubt that the iPad has had a bit of a strangehold on the tablet market, due in part to the fact that there weren't any devices to challenge it for the majority of the first model's lifespan. With devices like the XOOM and TouchPad on the horizon, though, the Apple will have to fight harder than ever to maintain its control. All of the iPad's competitors will have to work, too, though. In the minds of many consumers, the iPad is just about the only tablet out there, so companies like Motorola, HP, and Verizon will need to show everyone why their tablet deserves some of that mind share, too. What do you all think? Will there be any tablets this year that will challenge the iPad? If so, which?