New research points to growing tablet market

Many people may be dealing with tight budgets, but one trend continues – consumers keep purchasing tablet PCs. The industry began in 2010 with the introduction of Apple’s iPad, but many manufacturers have since developed their own tablets to target this growing market.

In fact, many devices now come with Google’s Android operating system, which has also become the dominant smartphone platform in the world. With the success of Apple and the emergence of Android-powered tablets, the market is expected to thrive for the upcoming holiday season. Throw in the wallet-friendly Amazon Kindle Fire, which was recently introduced at a significantly lower price tag than its competitors, and it seems consumers have a bevy of options available to them.

According to a new study by research firm Gartner, global tablet sales are projected to reach 63.6 million units this year. Although still relatively small compared to laptops or desktop shipments, this amount represents a 261.4 percent increase from last year. Tablet sales are expected to continue to grow and projected to reach 326.3 million units by 2015.

Apple will remain the No. 1 tablet manufacturer with 73.4 percent of the market, which is a decline from the 83 percent share it built as largely the market’s sole tablet provider in 2010. According to Gartner, tablets based on Google’s Android mobile operating system are slowly nipping at the iPad’s heels. In 2011, Android will account for 17.3 percent of all devices sold, reaching 11 million units.

No matter what research has been conducted, all signs point to tablets as one of the next big tech crazes. Although no study is exactly identical, most anticipate the devices to continue to evolve and reach more consumers in the near future. The industry may have been sparked by Apple, but some of the largest consumer technology companies are in the fold and developing new and improved devices. The tablet market can only get more interesting from here.

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