iSuppli: Tablet shipment forecast spikes thanks to Apple

Thanks to Apple's dominance with the iPad, the overall tablet market is expected to grow faster than previously expected.

As Apple continues to leave its tablet manufacturer competitors in the dust, that lead is helping to boost the market overall.

Research firm iSuppli published a new report that boosts expectations for global media tablet shipments to 60 million units in 2011, up from the previous prediction of 58.9 million. If that figure pans out, it would be a 245.9 percent increase from the 17.4 million units shipped in 2010.

However, as Apple sales are predicted to soar, iSuppli has readjusted its expectations for alternative tablets and reduced their shipment outlooks. The motives behind that can be best exemplified by the rapid downfall of the HP TouchPad.

As for Android and everyone else (is there anyone else at this point?), iSuppli asserted in its report these operating systems are "encountering slower-than-expected sales for their products and facing other challenges, including lagging development of content and applications for their products."

Rhoda Alexander, senior manager, tablet and monitor research for IHS, mentioned in the report:

All the momentum in the media tablet market is with Apple right now. The competition can’t seem to field a product with the right combination of hardware, marketing, applications and content to match up with the iPad. Furthermore, Apple’s patent litigation is serving to slow or complicate competitors’ entry into some key regional markets. With Apple lapping its competitors, many of whom are still struggling to get out of the starting gate, this remains a one-horse race.

DigiTimes recently posited that shipments of tablet PCs not made by Apple are expected to surge by 134 percent in 2012, with Android accounting for 44-45 million units shipped and iPad shipments to reach 54-55 million units.

For the long term, iSuppli is predicting that we'll see 275.3 million media tablets units in 2015, which is far more optimistic than In-Stat's expectation of 250 million by 2017.

Of course, the question that remains now is whether or not Apple will be able to continue its momentum now that Steve Jobs has stepped down as CEO.