Research: 54.7 Million Tablet Devices To Be Sold In 2011, Growing To 79.2 Million In 2012

Tis the season for long-term projections, as Goldman Sachs has now come out with new research estimating that some 54.7 million tablet devices will be sold next year.

With no signs of slowing down, that projection rises to 79.2 million tablets expected to be sold in 2012.  Unsurprisingly, a majority of those devices will be Apple’s iPad — the device that started the tablet craze in the first place.  With a majority of units sold being iPads, it’s interesting that these projections are so high.  Still, numerous tablets running Android are on the horizon in the coming years, and unknown competitors are sure to pop up.  However, estimates still peg iPad as the dominate tablet device for many years to come.

“Apple’s share of the PC market has been below 5 percent for most of the past 15 years, and even with the much-hyped ‘iPod halo effect,’ this level hasn’t changed in recent years,” noted Bill Shope of Goldman Sachs in his research note.  “With the iPad, however, Apple is now offering a unique computing device that is priced for the mass market.  In fact, our Apple forecast assumes that the iPad segment will surpass Apple’s Mac business in revenues and profits by the end of fiscal 2011–the first full year of iPad shipments … If we include tablets in our PC unit forecast, then our estimates suggest Apple’s combined iPad and Mac market share would reach 12 percent in 2011. Based on the current market share breakdown in the PC market, this could presumably make Apple one of the largest vendors in the combined PC and tablet market.”