Market watchers at IHS iSuppli have cut their forecast for iPad shipments this year by 9 per cent, after Apple confessed it struggled to meet demand in the first quarter on the year.
iSuppli reckons Apple will ship some 39.7 million iPads this year. It's previous expectation was that the fruity firm would ship 43.7 million units in 2011. That was before Apple said it didn't have enough bits to make them out of.
While Apple is likely to remain top of the tablet heap during 2011, by 2013 its competitors combined efforts will probably ship more units. iSuppli reckons Apple will be churning out some 81 million tablets by then. It's competitors will be shifting 111 million units in total, but Apple will still be the biggest tablet maker both in terms of volume and net worth.
Apple's dominance which be boosted by its marketing expertise will be propped up by its advantage in content iSuppli estimates.
"Content represents Apple’s most significant competitive advantage in the tablet market,” said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research at IHS. “Application development is accelerating for the Android market but still lags far behind Apple. Furthermore, the kind of seamless access to movies, music and other content that Apple can provide is still not in place for the competition.
“There is no sign yet of a serious opponent to challenge Apple’s place as the tablet market leader at least through 2015,” Alexander said.