This SO reminds me of all the crap predictions about Apple's future in the music player business when they came out with the iPod which was more expensive then the market leaders at the time. No one thought Apple had a chance. Then we had to endure a year or two of "iPod killers." That was before Microsoft jumped in with the Zune! OMG, you'd swear that Apple was just going to get steamrolled by Microsoft! Then Sony tried to recapture the market which they once OWNED with the Walkman. No body could unseat Apple and here is it, a gazillion years later and Apple still dominates the music player market.
Now, times are different. The tablet market, as it is today, was created by Apple (in b4 MS table) and Apple has led in the sales of the iPad. So, this time Apple didn't jump in late. Apple didn't have to struggle this time to grab market share. Apple has the best customer service, best app store selection, best retail outlets ( both with their own stores and in-store areas), best display, and best UI. That's a winning combo.
What's brand X have? Microsoft has a few company stores for the various brands of tablets can be shown. But Microsoft can't troubleshoot the phones and tablets that their software runs on, while the manufacturers can't do much with the MS software...which is still in Alpha while Apple's software is in version 5. How long will people put up with MS getting their software to function like they thought it would (current Nokia WinMo7 comes to mind). Even if MS takes a couple years to get all their pieces working, that Apple totally has running today, while will customers suddenly find WinMo8 desirable any more then they liked the Zune when it finally got its kinks worked out?
Then, look at Android in all it's various versions, screen ratios, flavors and hardware qualities... It's like a carnival with each ride playing a different tune. I think Amazon will still be selling readers that you can access Amazon so it can suck your money out of your pocket. But I doubt Amazon really cares if the Smoke and Fire ever do much more than that. The device works perfectly to keep you from surfing beyond Amazon as it is right now. That leaves Samsung, who might actually give Apple some competition. I've been in the Office stores where Samsung, Amazon Fire, B&N Nook, etc are on display. It's pathetic really. Most tablets don't work or are uncharged. They are covered in smudge prints with bright overhead lights washing out the displays. The sales people have only a glimmer of training in how to show them off. Nearly nothing going for the products, including Samsung, to move a shopper to become a buyer. How will Samsung or anyone do well in the face of Apple's well-oiled marketing programs??
Only those companies that cannot sell the iPad have any reason to be selling anything else. The learning curve is too high and the return on the time spent learning and selling is too low to attract outlets to really push the products. For companies that CAN sell the iPad, the sale is easy and quick and the customer won't be back 16% of the time with a non-working piece of brand X in a bag.
While projections and numbers crunched sound good to the bean counters, there are realities to be dealt with. Remember IBM? They came along and dominated the typewriter market. None of the big names of the day could ever make a dent. Royal OWNED the manual typewriter market and lost it completely to IBM. IBM never was unseated. They saw the future of the PC doing the job of the typewriter and sold out their mechanical and inkjet business to Xmark while the getting was good.
There's no reason why Apple has to lose market share any more then they did with the iPod or IBM did with the Selectric typewriter. Besides, I think Apple knows how to anchor themselves in a niche, even if it's not one of their making... but especially one of their making.