iPad's dominance of the market will continue and it will contribute to the tablets market size almost doubling this year, according to Gartner Research. Gartner estimates worldwide media tablet sales to jump from 60 million units in 2011 to 118.9 million units in 2012.
Apple's iOS is expected to lead the way with 61.4 percent of all tablet sales. In fact, by 2016 Gartner sees iOS jumping to nearly 170 million tablets (up from almost 40 million in 2011). For 2012, Gartner expects iOS to reach nearly 73 million units compared to almost 38 million for Android (31 percent of the market).
All told, Gartner is forecasting that more than 369 million tablets will be in the market by 2016.
"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," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. "As vendors struggled to compete on price and differentiate enough on either the hardware or ecosystem, inventories were built and only 60 million units actually reached the hands of consumers across the world. The situation has not improved in early 2012, when the arrival of the new iPad has reset the benchmark for the product to beat."
"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," she added.