updated 02:40 pm EDT, Fri October 15, 2010
Gartner says iPad to push tablets to 54.8m in 2011
The iPad will be the primary factor in both high tablet sales this year and three times as many sales next year, Gartner said in a new estimate today. Continuing very strong sales of Apple's tablet would push overall tablet sales to 19.5 million for all of 2010 and 54.8 million in 2011. By 2014, the category could be larger than netbooks with over 208 million units sold.
Almost all of that would be "driven by sales of the iPad," research VP Carolina Milanesi said.
The analyst also put significantly more gravity in concerns of an iPad effect on rivals. She expected that netbooks would now face the "strongest cannibalization threat" over the next few years and saw an inflection point when tablets hit $300, which she thought would happen within two years.
Milanesi further anticipated effects on e-readers, game systems and media players, although she only saw full-size notebooks "marginally" affected. Smartphones might see some damage as it might be difficult to rationalize getting both a high-end smartphone and a small seven-inch tablet, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, without seeing significant overlap. Many of those may opt for a simpler smartphone instead.