According to at least one research firm, DisplaySearch, Apple will remain firmly as the market leader for tablets for at least the next two years with substantial market share and sales. The firm believes the market will grow at a very rapid rate, accelerated primarily by the iPad, which it believes that Apple will sell 40 million units of this year – a very significant increase from last year’s 15 million units.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating statistics that the firm is floating is that by 2016 the tablet market will be selling 260 million units per year worldwide. That is a very considerable figure considering that in 2010, 351 million PCs were shipped. Indeed if these suggested figures ring true, it could be the case that tablets in 2016 replace a number of PC sales and perhaps even exceed PC sales.
As for Apple’s competitors, DisplaySearch believes that somewhere around the beginning of 2013 would be when they match Apple’s sales volume (combining all Apple’s competitors together though), which would still leave Apple as the market leader for presumably some time. Whether indeed Apple’s competitors can catch up by early 2013 will rely heavily on how well they do this year in launching their first iPad competitors. If they fail, the tablet market could well become similar to the MP3 player market in which Apple has strongly dominated for a decade with its iPod family.