The latest report on global tablet sales has been released by Gartner.
It estimates that worldwide slate sales will reach 119 million in 2012, practically a doubling of 2011′s figures (60 million).
Apple’s iPad is set to remain the dominant force throughout this year, taking a 61 per cent market share, despite the challenge from the budget priced Kindle Fire, and the emergence of Windows 8 tablets later this year.
Microsoft’s tablets are expected to snaffle just over 4 per cent of the market this year, leaping ahead of Rim’s PlayBook, which will be on just over 2 per cent. Android tablets will take close to a third of the market.
Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, commented: “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.”
“It appears that this year competitors have waited to see what Apple would bring out — because there were very few announcements of new media tablets at either the Consumer Electronics Show or Mobile World Congress. Many vendors will wait for Windows 8 to be ready and will try to enter the market with a dual-platform approach, hoping that the Microsoft brand could help them in both the enterprise and consumer markets.”
Gartner reckons that come 2015, around 35 per cent of tablet sales will be to the enterprise market, and that Windows 8 tablets stand to do well here. Indeed, by 2016 Gartner estimates that Microsoft will hold around a 12 per cent share of the market – which seems quite a lean figure to us, given the previous statistic.
In 2016, Apple will still be out in front, although its dominant market share will have slipped considerably to around 46 per cent. Android will have pushed up to 37 per cent, Gartner believes, so will finally be close behind the iPad.
Whether the launch of the iPad Mini, which has been rumoured for some time now, will change any of those guesstimations, we’re not sure.