Gartner’s analysts have forecasted tablet sales to reach 118.9 million units this year - a 98 percent increase from 2011 sales of 60 million units.
The research firm projected that Apple’s iOS will account for 61.4 percent of worldwide tablet sales this year. The firm said it believes Apple will maintain its position as the market leader despite the arrival of Microsoft-based devices and the expected launch of the Kindle Fire.
“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,” Gartner’s research president Carolina Milanesi said in a report issued by the firm today (11 April). “The situation has not improved in early 2012, when the arrival of the new iPad has reset the benchmark for the product to beat.”
Gartner said Microsoft tablet’s sales will grow from 4.1 percent this year to 11.8 percent by 2016. Android tablets are forecasted to account for 31.9 percent of tablet sales this year, Gartner’s report adds.
Gartner said that by 2015, sales of tablets will shift from enterprise-focused to customer-focused purchases due to the BYOD (bring your own device) trend.
“This poses a big threat to vendors that thought about focusing on the enterprise market who will now have to become appealing to consumers as well. This is exactly the same trend that vendors such as RIM (Research in Motion) had to face in the smartphone market. The difference here is that tablets have been created for consumers first and then relied on an ecosystem of apps and services that make them more manageable in the enterprise,” said Milanesi.
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