Judging only by the expected tablet announcements at CES 2011, this could well be the year of the tablet. Caris & Co. analyst Robert Cihra certainly thinks so, predicting that tablet sales will jump 226 percent to 54 million units this year. And while there may be quite a few tablets on the market shortly, Apple’s domination is expected to continue with the company capturing 67 percent of the market.
“iPad not only launched with phenomenal early uptake but effectively sent all wannabes back to the drawing board, delaying most competitive tablet launches well into CY11.”
Cihra expects that Apple will launch the iPad 2 in March, setting the stage for yearly updates much as the company now does with the iPhone (typically in June) and iPods (traditionally in September).
The tablet’s dramatic uptake will also impact global PC sales. Cihra expects that PC sales will grow about 9 percent, down from about 14 percent in 2010.