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Gartner: 19.5m tablet sales this year, 208m in 2014

Plus Take-Two boss says iPads et al will become "more and more robust platforms"

Research firm Gartner yesterday predicted that tablet sales would hit 19.5 million by the end of this year, rising 181 per cent to 54.8 million next year.

This would double again to 103 million units in 2012, it estimated, and come 2014 more than 208 million consumers would pick up tablets.

Said Carolina Milanesi, vice president of research at Gartner, "The all-in-one nature of media tablets will result in the cannibalisation of other consumer electronics devices such as e-readers, gaming devices and media players."

Gartner felt that netbooks would particularly suffer as a result of tablets' growth, which in turn would cause North America's market share of tablet sales to decline.

It estimated that the US and Canada would comprise 61 per cent of worldwide tablet sales by the end of this year, falling to 43 per cent by 2014.

In response to the predictions, Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick was optimistic about tablets as a gaming platform when talking to Bloomberg TV.

He predicted great things to come from the iPad and its rivals, but expressed minimal interest in publishing games for the current generation.

"It's small for a tablet because we support largely consoles, that's the bulk of our business," he said. "Why's that the bulk of our business? Because it allows us to do incredibly robust products.

"However, what's exciting about the tablet revolution, if you believe in Moore's Law, which I do, is that tablets are going to become more and more robust platforms and they'll allow you to do incredible things and they're portable, they're cheap and they're getting cheaper."

While Apple is the leading tablet-maker, selling 4.2 million iPads over its last quarter, a range of cheaper Android-based models are slowly arriving at retail.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.