Apple to Have Free Run in Christmas Tablet Sales, Researcher Gartner Says

Apple Inc (AAPL), the world’s biggest technology company by value, will dominate Christmas sales of tablet computers as rival products based on Google Inc.’s Android system are not competitive enough, researcher Gartner Inc. said.

“Apple delivers a superior and unified user experience across its hardware, software and services,” Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said in an e-mailed note today. “Unless competitors can respond with a similar approach, challenges to Apple’s position will be minimal.”

Worldwide media tablet sales will probably more than triple this year and reach 63.6 million units and Cupertino, California-based Apple is likely to keep a market share of more than 50 percent until 2014, Gartner said. Apple’s iPad may account for 73 percent of sales in 2011, after 83 percent in 2010. Apart from Apple and Android, no platform will have more than 5 percent of the market in 2011, according to Gartner.

“So far, Android’s appeal in the tablet market has been constrained by high prices, weak user interface and limited tablet applications,” Milanesi said.

Android tablets are predicted to account for 17 percent of the market this year, up from 14 percent in 2010. Gartner said it lowered its Android forecast by 28 percent from last quarter’s projection.

Apple dropped 0.3 percent to $412.14 yesterday in New York trading. The stock is up 28 percent this year.

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