Market analysts Gartner forecast that tablet PCs would sell 118.9 million units in 2012, a 98 per cent increase over 2011, while the firm also said that the iPad would still have the lion's share of the market up to 2016.
Gartner reckon that the iPad will snap up 61.4 per cent of the entire tablet pie "despite the arrival of Microsoft-based devices to this market," they said.
"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," said Gartner research chief Carolina Milanesi.
Gartner said that rival tablet makers had waited for Apple to forge the way given the lack of announcements of new tablets at CES and Mobile World Congress.
"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," said Milanesi.
Microsoft will only be able to snap up 4 per cent of the market once Windows 8 arrives later in the year and Gartner's crystal ball suggests that Windows 8 tablets will account for 11.8 per cent of sales by the end of 2016.
The analysts reckon even those sales are down to the enterprise appeal, describing Microsoft's efforts as a "strong IT-supplied offering more so than an OS with a strong consumer appeal."
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