And then there were two. In the wake of HP's announced termination of its webOS mobile products, a recent In-Stat research study estimates that Apple's iOS and the Android operating system will hold more than 90 percent of the tablet market for the next several years.

Although iOS and Android already accounted for significantly more sales than any other mobile platform before HP's announcement, the future of tablets now appears to be exclusively in the development of the two most popular systems. In-Stat expects an exponential increase in device sales in the next six years.

The nature of the mobile device industry appears to be shaping up much like the past few decades of personal computer systems. Apple has long held a place in both home and mobile computing, thanks in part to excellent branding of its mobile phone accessories and products. Although Microsoft long dominated the PC operating system market, Google's Android is now Apple's top mobile competitor. Windows-based devices aren't expected to generate nearly the sales of the two most popular mobile OS systems, but the connection to PCs and the company's well-established name may keep them from facing HP's dilemma.