In 2011 tablet sales worldwide topped out at about 60 million units. In 2012 they will rise to nearly double that, according to the latest forecast from Gartner.
The market research firm said today it expects worldwide tablet sales to surge 98 percent to 118.9 million units. Of those, Apple’s iPad is expected to account for a staggering 61 percent. Android tablets will account for 31.9 percent, tablets running Microsoft’s Windows 8 another four percent and RIM’s PlayBook about two percent.
The iPad’s lead in the tablet market is clearly a commanding one and tough to follow, let alone match, as Gartner’s Carolina Milanesi observed in her report on the new data.
“Despite PC vendors and phone manufacturers wanting a piece of the pie and launching themselves into the media tablet market, so far, we have seen very limited success outside of Apple with its iPad,” Milanesi said. “As vendors struggled to compete on price and differentiate enough on either the hardware or ecosystem, inventories were built and only 60 million units actually reached the hands of consumers across the world. The situation has not improved in early 2012, when the arrival of the new iPad has reset the benchmark for the product to beat.”
Worldwide Sales of Media Tablets to End Users by OS (Thousands of Units)