Analysts say projected figures "fall far short of mass market adoption"

Just 8m tablets to be sold this year

Eight million media tablet devices, including Apple iPads, will be sold this year, analyst firm ABI Research predicts.

Netbooks, by comparison, are set to see shipments of 58 million this year.

"Apple’s claimed shipments of one million iPads in the first month are impressive starting from zero, but even our total media tablet forecast falls far short of what anyone would call mass market adoption," said ABI’s principal analyst Jeff Orr.

The company pointed out that there are "lots of opportunities" for other tablet makers this year, which could involve partnering with mobile operators and other distribution partners.

In a separate piece of research, NPD Group suggests that the iPad may have cannibalised a some iPod sales in April. The analyst claims that iPod sales dropped by 17 per cent year-on-year in the same month that the iPad made its US debut and sold one million units.

By contrast, iPod sales had grown year-on-year by five per cent and ten per cent in January and February respectively, according to NPD’s data, before falling three per cent in March.

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