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April 10, 2012 at 7:57 AM

Gartner: Worldwide tablet sales to nearly double this year

Research firm Gartner today issued a forecast predicting worldwide tablet sales to total 118.9 million by the end of this year — a 98 percent increase from the 60 million sold in 2011.

Gartner expects Apple’s iPad to continue to dominate, with 61.4 percent of sales. (It predicts Android tablets will get 31.9 percent of sales in 2012.)

That’s despite Microsoft’s expected entry into the media tablet market with Windows 8 later this year. Gartner is predicting that Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablets will account for only 4.1 percent tablet sales this year, growing to 11.8 percent by the end of 2016.

“Many vendors will wait for Windows 8 to be ready and will try to enter the market with a dual-platform approach, hoping that the Microsoft brand could help them in both the enterprise and consumer markets,” Gartner’s Carolina Milanesi, research vice president, said in the forecast. “IT departments will see Windows 8 as the opportunity to deploy tablets on an OS that is familiar to them and with devices offered by many enterprise-class suppliers. This means that we see Windows 8 as a strong IT-supplied offering more so than an OS with a strong consumer appeal.”

The full report is available at Gartner’s website but requires login.

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