Analysts report says Apple iPad helps define and raise profile of new product category

Tablet market to hit 57 million sales per year in five years

A report from ABI Research has claimed that the Tablet PC market will grow to make 57 million shipments annually by 2015.

ABI says that the launch of Apple’s iPad marks the real start for the media tablet category, which is projected to see four million shipments this year from various vendors.

“Apple’s iPad is not the first media tablet,” stated ABI senior analyst Jeff Orr. “But it does help define this new device category. The main focus of media tablets is entertainment. A tablet will not replace a laptop, netbook or mobile phone, but will remain an additional premium or luxury product for wealthy industrialized markets for at least several years.”

ABI Research now defines media tablets a having a five to eleven inch touch screen interface, with WiFi connectivity and gaming capabilities.

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