Egham, U.K. - Worldwide media tablet sales will reach almost 20 million worldwide in 2010 and more than double the following year, according to Gartner.
The research company's first report on media tablets stated 19.5 million tablets are expected to ship this year. This figure will skyrocket to 54.8 million in 2011, double again in 2012 and hit 154.2 million by 2013. Gartner defines a media tablet as devices such a Apple's iPad, Samsung's Galaxy Tab or any slate-type device running a lightweight operating system like Andriod, WebOS or Meego.
Gartner expects this growth to eat into sales of other portable devices, notably e-readers, gaming devices, netbooks and, to a lesser extent, low-end laptops.
"Mini notebooks will suffer from the strongest cannibalization threat as media tablet average selling prices (ASPs) drop below $300 over the next 2 years," said Carolina Milanesi, Gartner's research VP.
The North American market will account for 61 percent of media tablet sales this year, dropping to 43 percent by 2014 as they become available in additional markets. Cellular/Wi-Fi tablets will account for 55 percent of sales this year, climbing to 80 percent in four years.
The cellular carriers are also expected to shift their attention away from subsidized netbooks to media tablets, Milanesi said.
Gartner does not see media tablets becoming a target for the enterprise market; however, it does expect workers to buy tablets using their own money due to the convenience factor these devices offer -- primarily "instant on" capability.
Down the road Gartner predicts media pads will become primarily a device shared amongst a family for quick access to the web, email and content.