Worldwide tablet sales are expected to reach 118.9 million units this year, led by Apple's iOS, a Gartner report has revealed. This number is a 98 per cent increase from 2011's sales of 60 million units.
Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, noted in the report on Wednesday that Apple will continue to be the dominant tablet operating system (OS), and is expected to account for 61.4 per cent of worldwide tablet sales to end users in 2012. This will be down from 66.6 per cent in 2011.
Despite the arrival of Microsoft-based devices to the market, and the roll-out of Amazon's Kindle Fire, Apple will continue to be the market leader throughout the forecast period, she added.
Even though PC vendors and phone manufacturers "want a piece of the pie", and have launched themselves in the tablet market, there is very limited success outside of Apple with its iPad, Milanesi noted. She further explained that as vendors struggle to compete on price and differentiate enough on either the hardware or the ecosystem, inventories have been built, and only 60 million units reached the hands of consumers across the world.
This situation has not improved in early 2012, when the arrival of the new iPad reset the benchmark for the product to beat, she said.
This is followed by the Android OS, which is forecasted to account for 31.9 per cent of tablet sales in 2012. The main issue with Android tablets is the lack of applications that are dedicated to tablets and take advantage of their capabilities, according to Gartner analysts.
Microsoft tablets are projected to account for 4.1 per cent of tablet sales this year, and grow to 11.8 per cent of sales by the end of 2016.
"IT departments will see Windows 8 as the opportunity to deploy tablets on an OS that is familiar to them, and with devices offered by many enterprise-class suppliers," Milanesi said. "This means that we see Windows 8 as a strong, IT-supplied offering more so than an OS with a strong consumer appeal."
Via ZDNet Asia