Apple: The iOS that Stole Christmas

Apple's in pole position to reach millions more customers this holiday season: all the consumer reports agree the iPad is set to dominate CE wish lists this year. A year in which one-in-three Android users would ditch their handset for an iPhone.

Apple has mind share; the iPhone 4's the most reliable smartphone around (but don't drop it); and while Android's multitude of devices are grabbing market share, Apple continues to maintain stellar growth.

Another critical advantage: the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch mean Apple is offering developers the most vibrant and potentially profitable environment to build software for.

[This story is from Computerworld's Apple Holic blog. Follow on Twitter or subscribe via RSS to make sure you don't miss a beat.]

I've been reading today's runes to arrive at these conclusions:

Up, up and away iPhone
"iPhone market share could double within a year," according to the new 'Going Mobile' study from the researchers at the IHL Group.

This new survey suggests the smartphone market will double across the next 12 months, with 56 percent of current smartphone users thinking about buying an iPhone for their next device.

"The iPhone is quickly replacing the Blackberry in the mindshare of consumers and the executive office for many retailers," said IHL Group President Greg Buzek.

Apple for Christmas
A pair of surveys suggest that Apple's set for bumper Holiday sales this quarter.

In the UK, website, VoucherCodes.co.uk says its most recent survey shows 37 percent of 3,000 UK consumers want an iPad under the tree, making it the most popular consumer electronics device. In second place? The iPhone 4, which grabbed 27 percent of the vote.

The situation's similar in the US, where spending on consumer electronics is expected to reach new highs.

This is according to the Consumer Electronics Association who published their data on anticipated Holiday season sales this morning.

Laptops are top of the tree for under the tree this year, while the iPad is in at number two.

Interestingly, the CEA also reveals that while 'happiness' is something most adults most desire, the iPad is the third most wanted thing -- consumers seem to want it more than clothes, good health and family together.

In a report released today, Gartner predicts 54.8 million tablets will be sold in 2011. Apple currently holds 95 percent marketshare in this sector. There's even a psychic octopus who agrees. (There's a statistic to trust).

IT pros are hot to iTrot
Computerworld this week told us about a BoxTone survey of over 1,200 IT pros which confirms strong interest in deploying iPads and other iOS devices across their organizations.

The survey found that 73 percent of 1,165 IT prose fully expect they'll be deploying iOS devices within the next year, or at the very least, testing such deployments. And that's in addition to a claimed 28 percent who intend iOS deployment "immediately." Even more telling, 68 percent of the sample group were from large companies with over 1,500 workers, Boxtone said.

As I continue to say, iPad is hot for the enterprise. This is an inflection point. Apple is on the way to unseating BlackBerry in the enterprise, and I don't really see Android making an impression in this sector at this time. Android's is a low-cost, partnership-based consumer play.

Apple's "stellar performance"
After years in the wilderness, the analysts at Gartner seem to be embracing Apple these days. Noting the smartphone market has grown by 96 percent in the last 12 months, the analysts observe:

"Apple delivered a stellar performance in the third quarter of 2010, selling 13.5 million units. It could have sold more but for its ongoing supply constraints and is now in fourth place worldwide."

Apple now holds 3.2 percent of the mobile market, these figures claim.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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