Research: 40 million iPads to ship in 2011; 61% global tablet share

Research suggests that Apple's iPad will hold 61% of the market share, shipping over 40 million tablets this year -- surpassing any other tablet to date.

According to a report commissioned by research group Digitimes, it estimates that approximately 40 million Apple iPad tablets will be shipped this year, giving it a 61% global market share in the tablet market.

Though the prediction may not come as a surprise to many, the entire tablet market -- still dominated by the iPad -- is still booming year on year.

(Image via Flickr)

The research estimates that 65.2 million tablets will ship in 2011 from manufacturers to retailers -- then on to home and enterprise users -- with Apple shipping around 40 million of them.

The key quarter, pointed out by the research, will be towards the 2011 holiday season, incorporating Thanksgiving and Christmas, which will be the true test for tablets across the market share spectrum.

Though the iPad is dominant in tablet sales, Digitimes expects tablet manufacturers to expand their offerings to give a greater choice of not only operating systems, but different, more end-user suited tablets themselves.

Not only was the iPad the first major tablet on the scene in April 2010, the combination of the Apple brand and the pre-installed with iOS -- already popular with existing iPhone users -- made the device a hit.

Other manufacturers with their own 'iPad killers' have been trying to emulate Apple's success ever since.

Outside of the iPad bubble, for which an estimated 29 million iPads have already been sold since 2010, when the device went on sale, the focus is Android and its multi-platform operating system.

Android currently holds only 30% of the share, with the operating system running on popular tablets such as the Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xoom.

Amazon's upcoming tablet should cause a stir in the coming months, only weeks after it was reported that the shopping giant would be bringing out an Android-based tablet of its own.

With further reports that the iPad 3 could arrive by Christmas this year, this is expected to further grow the base of the Apple tablet.

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