Market research outfit Gartner has published a report stating that tablet sales are forecast to reach 19.5 million units in 2010, driven by strong demand in the Apple iPad.
However the firm was projecting 54.8 million units in 2011, an increase of 181 per cent, and a further increase to 208 million units in 2014.
“The all-in-one nature of media tablets will result in the cannibalization of other consumer electronics devices such as e-readers, gaming devices and media players,” said Gartner research veep Carolina Milanesi. “Mini notebooks will suffer from the strongest cannibalization threat as media tablet average selling prices (ASPs) drop below $300 over the next 2 years.”
Gartner said that low-end notebooks would only “marginally” suffer from cannibalisation while the majority of the impact of 7-inch “media tablets” will be upon high-end smartphones. The firm said users would find it hard to justify owning both.
North America will account for 61 per cent of tablet sales this year, Gartner said, but add as the devices became more widely available worldwide, the American share of the tablet market would steadily decrease to 43 per cent by 2014.
The firm also claimed that network carriers would shift from subsidising mini-notebooks and would shift towards marketing tablets instead.