Analysts at Gartner are predicting 10.5 million tablet PCs will ship in 2010, a number that includes traditional swivel screen tablets and next-generation devices similar to the Apple iPad.
While Gartner expects tablets to account for about 3% of the more than 366 million PC units expected to ship in 2010, advancements in tablet technology could signal a shift in the PC market.
“Vendors can no longer afford to just think in terms of traditional PC form factors or architectures,” said Gartner Analyst Ranjit Atwal. “Apple’s iPad is just one of many new devices coming to market that will change the entire PC ecosystem and overlap it with the mobile phone industry.”
Two Different Views
Gartner’s view of the 2010 tablet market is much rosier than ABI Research’s, where analysts predict only 4 million will ship. However, ABI noted the potential of what they dubbed “media tablet PCs,” claiming that 57 million devices will ship by 2015.
Like Gartner, ABI also cited the iPad as a driving force in consumer tablet adoption. Unofficial numbers indicate 120,000 iPads were pre-ordered when the device went on sale in early March.