According to Gartner Inc., Worldwide media tablet sales to end users are forecast to total 118.9 million units in 2012, a 98 percent increase from 2011 sales of 60 million units.
Apple’s iOS continues to be the dominant media tablet operating system (OS), as it is projected to account for 61.4 percent of worldwide media tablet sales to end users in 2012. Despite the arrival of Microsoft-based devices to this market, and the expected international rollout of the Kindle Fire, Apple will continue to be the market leader through the forecast period.
Carolina Milanesi, Research VP, Gartner said, “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. 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.
Microsoft tablets are projected to account for 4.1 percent of media tablet sales this year, and grow to 11.8 percent of sales by the end of 2016. Windows 8 is Microsoft’s official entrance into the media tablet market.
Milanesi added, “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. This means that we see Windows 8 as a strong IT-supplied offering more so than an OS with a strong consumer appeal.”
Gartner analysts claimed that enterprise sales of media tablets will account for about 35 percent of total tablet sales sold in 2015. These sales will not be clearly defined as enterprise purchases. Gartner expects enterprises to allow tablets as part of their buy your own device (BYOD) program. More of these tablets will be owned by consumers who use them at work.
Android tablets are forecast to account for 31.9 percent of media tablet sales in 2012. Gartner analysts said the main issue with Android tablets has been the lack of applications that are dedicated to tablets and therefore take advantage of their capabilities. Gartner’s consumer survey data shows that consumers are running many of their apps on their mobile phones and their tablets.