Analysts have raised estimates for worldwide tablet sales in 2011 from 58.9 million to 60 million following Apple's faster-than-expected return to normal production levels after the earthquake in Japan.
Rhoda Alexander, tablet and monitor research senior manager at research firm IHS, told V3 that early revisions following the earthquake may have overestimated its impact on Apple and the strength of the company's contingency plan.
"It is very strategic on Apple's part. It has a very well managed supply chain and, when suppliers have not been able to meet capacity, Apple works with the suppliers to acquire more resources," she said.
Alexander believes that Apple and Google will benefit from HP's recent decision to dump its webOS tablet operation. In particular, the analyst sees the failure of webOS opening doors in the corporate space.
RIM could be in a position to benefit, but Alexander sees the BlackBerry maker being more concerned with fending off a consumerisation trend that has seen businesses considering non-enterprise platforms.
"RIM was always strong in corporate markets, so it would definitely be in a category to benefit," Alexander explained. "The challenge for RIM is that corporations are looking harder at what else is out there."
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