RIM to get a slice of Apple's pie

Google and Apple will dominate tablet sales, but RIM could have a good shot at grabbing 10% of the market by 2015.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 11, 2011 1:12PM

By Scott Moritz, TheStreet

 

Tablets will continue to be a two-horse race between Apple (AAPL) and Google's (GOOG) Android, but research firm Gartner sees an opening for Research In Motion (RIMM) by 2015.

 

The development of the tablet market will follow a path similar to the one smartphones have taken, according to Gartner's report issued Monday. The two camps have largely become a semireligious divide between Apple and Google, but if there's any surprises to Gartner's 2015 prediction, it might be the inclusion of RIM.

 

The BlackBerry maker has not exactly been the most reliable would-be tablet player. Last year, RIM scratched the BlackPad, its first tablet. And this year, after countless sneak peeks and a few delays, RIM's upcoming PlayBook tablet is so far only a concept that industry observers have had to run with.

 

But barring another delay, the PlayBook is expected to launch next week. And with its Android compatibility and the security of its BlackBerry service, outfits like Gartner say the new tablet has a fighting chance.

"It will take time and significant effort for RIM to attract developers and deliver a compelling ecosystem of applications and services around QNX to position it as a viable alternative to Apple or Android," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said in a press release. QNX is the next-generation operating system RIM is expected to introduce in 2012 for phones and tablets.

 

And even if the mass market is out of reach for RIM, there's still a lucrative niche with the office set, Gartner said.

 

"It will be mainly organizations that will be interested in RIM's tablets, because they either already have RIM's infrastructure deployed or have stringent security requirements," Milanesi added.

By 2015, Gartner says, Apple will have 41% of the market and Google's Android operating system will have 38%. By then, Gartner predicts, RIM will have carved out a 10% corner of the tablet business.

 

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