Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore has taken note of Apple’s increasing competitive advantage with the iPad. He’s done the simple math of combining tablet sales with notebook sales to see how Apple is eating everyone else’s lunch. Not only that, but he thinks the rumored iPad 3 will expand Apple’s lead.[quote]Estimates from Deutsche Bank, combined with data from IDC, suggest that Apple currently has a 25 percent share of the combined notebook and tablet market. The next closest competitor is HP, which had a 12 percent combined total in the fourth quarter of calendar 2011, followed by Lenovo and Acer, both with 10 percent. Whitmore said none of the iPad competitors introduced in the last 12 months have come close to the iPad, as most of the products have been “me-too” offerings with little differentiation with one another. He believes the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Asus’s Transformer Prime are “more relevant” products as iPad competitors than Amazon’s Kindle Fire.[/quote]
The iPad is becoming more powerful with each hardware bump and major OS release. It is taking over tasks that notebooks used to do, and doing them better with less power and hassle. Meanwhile, the Kindle Fire, new as it is, is closer to a larger iPod touch than it is a reinvented notebook. Android and Windows tablets have a long way to go to get to where the iPad is now. Who knows how long it will be until they can start competing? They have their work cut out for them.
With so little noteworthy competition, Whitmore thinks Apple is primed to hit a stock price of $600. It’s in Apple’s reach, and 2012, just like the past two years, will be the year of the iPad.