Almost 20 Million Tablets to Sell This Year
With the phenomenal sales of Apple's iPad, the mobile computing tablet sector shows no sign of slowing down, according to research firm Gartner. A slew of challengers are set to debut before early 2011, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, BlackBerry PlayBook and Cisco Cius, which will help boost sales. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, whose recent statements that "job one" at the software giant, is to port Windows 7 to slate computers, has a new report to reaffirm just how important that market is likely to become over the next four years. In fact, the report from researcher Gartner said that in 2010 alone, 19.5 million "media tablets" will be sold to end users. Sales will be led, of course, by Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad, which had sold 3.27 million units by the end of Apple's third fiscal quarter on June 26, according to the company. Further, Gartner expects sales to jump 181 percent next year to 54.8 million units as momentum for tables picks up steam. Down the road, as sales really ramp up, sales are projected to hit 208 million in 2014. Gartner defines media tablets as "slate devices that support touch and run a lightweight OS such as iOS, Android, WebOS or Meego," the firm said in a statement. "Examples of media tablets are the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Cisco Cius," Gartner continued. They can range from seven-inch screen sizes up to around 10 inches.