Global Tablets Sales to Reach 119 Million This Year, Says Gartner

On Thursday, Gartner projected that worldwide media tablet sales will top 119 million units in 2012. If you’re not keeping score at home, that’s a 98 percent increase over 2011 sales of 60 million units.

Not surprisingly, Apple’s iOS continues to be the leader of the pack when it comes to media tablets, as the Apple device is projected to account for 61.4 percent of worldwide media tablet sales to end users in 2012.

In other words, new Microsoft-based devices and the global rollout of the Kindle Fire won’t have much impact on Apple’s dominance.

“Despite PC vendors and phone manufacturers wanting a piece of the pie and launching themselves into the media tablet market, so far, we have seen very limited success outside of Apple with its iPad,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “As vendors struggled to compete on price and differentiate enough on either the hardware or ecosystem, inventories were built and only 60 million units actually reached the hands of consumers across the world. The situation has not improved in early 2012, when the arrival of the new iPad has reset the benchmark for the product to beat.”

“It appears that this year competitors have waited to see what Apple would bring out — because there were very few announcements of new media tablets at either the Consumer Electronics Show or Mobile World Congress,” Milanesi adds. “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.”