The Macalope Daily: Troublesome portents

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In what is probably the first bad sign for the continued success of the iPad, Gartner has predicted that Apple’s device will dominate the tablet market through at least 2016.

Why is that a bad sign? Well, if you remember, Gartner is the firm that suggested Apple should get out of the hardware business back in 2006. Look, if the firm’s analysis is that backwards, this can only mean one thing: The iPad is doomed.

OK, truthfully, the Macalope has seen a lot of these market-share predictions and they’re about as useless as a Don Reisinger top-ten list. Unless the top-ten list is about a market-share prediction, in which case the uselessness of the top-ten list and the prediction create a recursive feedback loop that makes both go to infinity.

Presumably Gartner has included the Kindle Fire in the “Android” category, which it shows as roughly doubling every year while the iPad increases at a more modest rate, averaging 60 percent each year. Surely there is some serious science behind all this that is simply beyond mortal ken.

What the Macalope did find interesting was Gartner’s prediction that Windows 8 tablets would be “all that.”

Microsoft’s own hopes for mirroring its lead in PCs through Windows 8 tablets would also be dashed. Windows 8’s launch in the fall was estimated to get it 4.9 million sales in 2012, but it would still represent just 43.6 million devices in 2016, or less than a third of what the iPad and Android would manage.

What’s interesting about it is not the made-up numbers that Gartner projects for Windows 8 tablets, but that Gartner doesn’t seem to be buying into Microsoft’s belief that people are clamoring for a “full desktop experience” on its tablet. It only thinks Windows 8 tablets will catch on in those enterprise IT shops where the “nobody got fired for buying Microsoft” mentality is still prevalent.

Uh-oh. Can Microsoft have finally lost the hearts and minds of the whitepaper-spewing technology industry analytical world? Those guys were like the company’s best friends! Unlike the Macalope’s faux concern about the iPad, that really is concerning. For Redmond.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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