Why Apple won't rule the media world

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Apple is dominating the tablet market and rocking the mobile world, but even a famously bullish Apple analyst thinks the company "won't be the gatekeeper" to the media realm.

Gene Munster, a senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, spoke about the power of Apple and the iPad at Business Insider's Ignition conference in New York City on Thursday.

"They'll help define how we consume media over the next decade, but they won't win everything," Munster said.

The iPod revolutionized music, Munster said, noting that the device accounts for as much as 90% of portable music players sold. But Apple will start to lose its iron grip on the tablet market, he predicts: He sees its market share dropping to 44% as competitors release iPad rivals.

"The key is: Can Apple repeat in movies and TV what they did in music?" Munster said. "The answer is no. ITunes was able to take over music, but with so many devices out there for video, content providers will realize they need to be device agnostic."

Apple = mobile: Just a few years ago, Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) was all about the computer. In 2003, Munster reminded the audience, 69% of the company's business was devoted to the Mac; today it's just 24%.

"Apple is really a mobile company now," he said.

Apple's mobile app store now includes 300,000 offerings, Munster said, while Android has 100,000. Other platforms like the BlackBerry and Windows "are basically irrelevant" in terms of numbers, he said -- though that's not as grim as it sounds.

"The high-quality apps, the ones people want the most, are on most of the platforms," Munster said. "So it comes down to hardware. "

iPad = gateway drug to Apple: The iPad tablet, which debuted in April, has attracted a new and ever-changing demographic, Munster said. It's drawn in a whole new crop of consumers, bringing Apple more customers beyond the "Wall Street fat cats and people who are the type just to want a lot of gadgets."

Munster and his Piper Jaffray colleagues, based in Minneapolis, recently conducted a "buzz survey"(a quickie poll of fewer than 100 people) about opinions on the iPad versus Samsung's new 7-inch tablet, the Galaxy Tab.

Of the 65 consumers surveyed, 85% preferred the iPad over the Galaxy. The majority thought Samsung's device, which costs $599, was 50% overpriced. The iPad's price tag starts at $499.

Despite the fierce competition in the tablet market, Munster thinks Apple will be able to keep its stronghold in the mobile market -- alongside Android. The biggest losers in mobile, he predicts, will be the three platforms that skew oldest and are already shedding market share: Windows, BlackBerry and Nokia. To top of page

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