Gartner: Apple iPad to lead tablet market into 2016

Trio of iPads

Over 118 million tablets will ship worldwide this year, with the Apple iPad continuing to dominate sales.

This is the view put forward by Gartner in its new iPad and Beyond: The Future of the Tablet Market report.

It claims tablet sales will top 118.9 million units in 2012, which is nearly double the number that shipped last year.

Apple will continue to dwarf the market with predicted sales of around 61 million, giving the Cupertino giant a 61.4 per cent share of the market. This figure is slightly down on 2011 when Apple led the market with 66.6 per cent share.

As vendors struggled to compete on price, only 60 million units actually reached the hands of consumers across the world in 2012

Meanwhile, Gartner predicts sales of Android-based tablets will rise from 17.3 million in 2011 to 37.9 million in 2012, helping these devices amass a market share of 32 per cent. This is three per cent higher than last year.

The report also states that vendors, such as Samsung and Amazon, will see sales of their Android-based tablets boosted by international rollouts, but their sales performance will still be eclipsed by Apple.

"Despite PC vendors and phone manufacturers wanting a piece of the pie and launching themselves into the media tablet market, 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 [their technology offerings], 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," she added.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.