Information technology research and advisory company, Gartner Inc. has predicted that the media tablet market is set to explode in the years to come.
Media Tablets are slate devices that support touch, and run a lightweight operating system. Some examples of media tablets are Apple’s iPad and the recently released Samsung Galaxy Tab.
According to Gartner’s forecasts, sales of these tablets are expected to touch 20 million this year, and grow to over 200 million by 2014.
Carolina Milanesi, Vice President of Research at Gartner, believes that the media tablet is closer to a smartphone than to a mini-notebook or a personal computer, and hence, is likely to become very popular. Many would argue that this might not be the reason consumers buy media tablets, but instead could be the reason many don’t! However, it doesn’t change the fact that media tablets have become one of the most talked-about new gadgets of the year.
It is expected that in 2010, North America will be the clear leader in the market for media tablets, with 61% of the market share. By 2014, international markets are expected to hold 57% of the market share.
While the average size of the tablet is about 7 inches at present, it is likely to go up to 10 inches by 2014, due to newer features that are likely to be incorporated.
A media tablet requires a Wi-Fi connection or a 3G cellular connection, or both, to be operational. At present only about 50% of tablets manufactured have both modes of communication in-built. By 2014, this is likely to change as 80% of tablets are expected to have both 3G and Wi-Fi communication capabilities.
It is highly likely that media tablets will initially be perceived only as notebook add-ons for official use. They will most likely evolve and soon be used for personal reasons such as video viewing, playing games and reading books.