03:33 PM

iPad Grabs 95% Tablet Share

Apple's slate is all the rage, but analyst warns that strong competition from Google is on the horizon.

As if any more evidence was needed to show Apple's iPad is fast becoming one of the tech industry's all-time blockbusters, new research reveals the device has captured almost all of the tablet computing market in its first few months of availability.

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Research firm Strategy Analytics, in a report issued Tuesday, said the iPad commanded a whopping 95% share of the tablet computing market as of the third quarter. "The tablet wars are up and running," Strategy Analytics said in its note.

"Apple's iPad has jumpstarted the market and rapidly captured 95% global share during Q3 2010," said the note.

Indeed, the iPad has become one of the fastest selling gadgets in tech industry history since Apple introduced it April 3rd. Apple sold 300,000 of the devices the first day they were on sale, and more than 2 million units in the first 80 days.

Apple's outlook is even more promising if the iPad is lumped in with desktop PCs and notebooks.

Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore last month compiled data that shows Apple owns an industry-leading 25% share of the U.S. PC market when iPad sales are added to Mac sales. Whitmore's figures put Apple ahead of Windows PC-makers Dell and HP, each of which held a share of about 20% at the end of the third quarter, and Acer, with a 9% share.

But market researchers at Strategy Analytics said Apple can't rest on its tablet laurels, as new competition looms—most notably in the form of offerings from rival Google. "Apple's huge live will be short lived, as a wave of Android models is set to flood the market in the fourth quarter," the firm said.

Microsoft also has said it's working with hardware partners to produce Windows 7-based tablets, but the company has been vague on the details, and many analysts doubt whether the full Windows desktop OS would be a good fit for tablet form factors.

Apple shares were up 1.84%, to 309.78, in afternoon trading Tuesday.

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