Here are your Apple news items and rumors for Thursday:
Gartner Lays Out the Tablet Market; iPad on Top For a While to Come: Research group Gartner released its latest report on the tablet PC market on Thursday, breaking down how it expects Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and others to perform across the holiday season. The short version: Apple will perform. Others won’t. The group believes a total of 63.6 million tablets will be sold to retailers before the year is out, compared to just 17.6 million in 2010. More than 73% of those tablets will be iPads. The group expects Apple to maintain market dominance through 2014 when it still will control more than 50% of the market. As for tablets using Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system, Gartner lowered its expectations from 28% of the market to just above 17%. The only reason Gartner believes Android tablets will maintain that much control of the market is because of “success in low-cost Asian markets and strong expectations for Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) forthcoming tablet.”
Apple Continues Shift Away From Samsung Components: While Apple and Samsung (PINK:SSNLF) continue to try to sue the pants off one another over patent infringements in their respective mobile products, Apple has remained one of Samsung’s biggest component clients. Word came out in June, however, that Apple would not use Samsung to manufacture the custom, ARM Holdings-based (NASDAQ:ARMH) A6 chip — a successor to the A5 chip used in the current iPad — when it began production in 2012. A Thursday report in DigiTimes (via TUAW) said now Apple is dropping Samsung as the supplier of DRAM and NAND memory parts used in its products, buying instead from Toshiba and Elpida. Samsung is contracted to produce $7.8 billion in parts for Apple across all of 2011. The loss of that business could hurt the company a whole lot more than a patent lawsuit.
Once an iPhone User, Always an iPhone User: Paranoid investors terrified that the Apple bubble soon will burst might find reassurance in a new report from UBS Investment Research. Reprinted in a Thursday report at Apple Insider, UBS’ report said that 89% of iPhone users will continue to use Apple’s smartphones. Apple’s retention rate trounces the competition. Its closest competitor is HTC, which enjoys a retention rate of 39%. Samsung’s retention rate is 28%, while Motorola Mobility‘s (NYSE:MMI) is 25% — a figure that can’t thrill Google.