Worldwide tablet sales will surge 98 per cent in 2012 with Apple continuing to consolidate its position as market leader, claims IT research firm Gartner.
According to the latest Gartner report, worldwide sales of media tablets will jump from 60 million units to 118.9 million units by the end of this year.
"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," the Gartner statement reads. "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."
According to Gartner, Microsoft is expected to remain in third place behind Android and iOS tablet sales through to 2016. Microsoft tablets are projected to account for 4.1 per cent of media tablet sales this year, with its worldwide market share creeping to 11.8 percent by the end of 2016.
Interestingly, Gartner expects Windows 8 tablets to appeal to IT and business more than consumer markets. "We see Windows 8 as a strong IT-supplied offering more so than an OS with a strong consumer appeal," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.
Android tablets, meanwhile, are forecast to account for 31.9 percent of media tablet sales in 2012. A more detailed overview of the numbers is in the table below.
Click to enlarge. Source: Gartner.
If you're planning to buy your first tablet device this year, we'd like to hear what you think about the current lineup. Will you be going down the Apple iPad route, or does the familarity of Windows hold more appeal? What about hybrid options, such as the Android-based Asus Transformer Prime or Padfone? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.