Happy Birthday, iPad!

It’s hard to believe that the iPad is 1 year old today. Twelve months ago, Apple changed the world with the release of its innovate tablet.

In the time before the iPad, digital readers had been making headway in the ebook world. But magazines had no real way to make the leap from the physical to the digital world. The iPad changed that overnight by connecting readers to their favourite publications with the tap of a finger.

The numbers also illustrate iPad’s incredible growth in popularity.  In 2010, Apple reported sales of almost 15 million iPads in just nine months.  In that same year, according to Gartner research, the global tablet market was $9.6 billion. Apple reported $9.566 billion in iPad-generated revenue for that same period. Which means that other tablets garnered a relatively tiny $34 million in sales.

2011 should be an even bigger break out year for tablet content and devices. Gartner predicts $29.4 billion in tablet sales and an average growth rate of 52 perceny through 2015.  Betanews calculates that Apple should get no less than 70 per cent of that market.  

Bloomberg Business Week reports that Google has been requiring Android licensees’ abide by a non-fragmentation clauses” that give Google the final say on how they can tweak the Android code.  It appears that Apple’s central control of the operating system and construction of the hardware had created a one two punch that is landing with consumers and giving Apple a commanding lead. 

As Betanews explains it:  “Apple is simply offering something Android tablets aren’t — a quality, well-made experience in which the little things work correctly (an issue for Honeycomb), with a wealth of interesting apps that make the device worth owning.” So for the foreseeable future – Apple’s going to continue to dominate the iPad market,  hich means that publishers looking to deliver content with embedded media are going to be in business with Apple.  

There’s no doubt that there’s a coming showdown between the e-ink world of the popular Kindle,  the Android mobile devices, and the Apple iPad universe. But as long as apple continues to dominate the media reader market, publishers are going to have to think first about Apple for apps, subscriptions,  and enanced ebooks. 

That lead is going to make Apple the company to watch as the iPad 2 ships in its faster, lighter, sexier package.  

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