Apple's weak retail presence in the European market, when compared with the US, is likely to mean that it could face stronger competition from tablet manufacturers rivalling the iPad.
That is according to the latest report from Forrester Research, entitled Apple dominates the European tablet market, but there's room for competition.
Apple currently has 238 stores in the US, which compares with just 52 in Europe. Forrester suggests this is likely to result in challengers to the iPad making more headway in local markets on this side of the Atlantic.
The report estimates that in 2011 Apple will hold 80 per cent of tablet sales in the US, but only 70 per cent in Europe.
However, despite the positive outlook for a more diverse market landscape in the future, Forrester also notes that a "serious iPad challenger" is yet to emerge and that the non-iPad tablet market is still "extremely fragmented".
Forrester argues that if Europe is to develop a competitive tablet landscape, competitors to Apple's iPad need to not only develop quality hardware, but also create a content ecosystem.
The report suggests: "Tablets have a chance at succeeding only if they assemble content and services that support what consumers want to do with the device in work and play. In particular, bringing local content providers as well as business applications developers onto your platform will be crucial to tablet success".