Tech analysts, ABI Research, have published a survey that indicate that around 57 million media tablets could be sold in 2015, a 14-fold increase compared to the volume expected to be sold this year alone.
Around 300 millions PC were sold in 2009 by comparison. Earlier today, we indicated that Needham & Company’s analyst, Charlie Wolf, suggested that by the end of 2011, 8 million iPads will be sold.
Jeff Orr, senior analyst at ABI Research, commented in the report that "Apple's iPad is not the first media tablet. But it does help define this new device category."
Unlike the iPod at launch, Apple is likely to face a stiffer competition from some of the biggest name in technology which is the main raeson why ABI reckons Apple will sell only four million iPads this year.
Microsoft and HP are already preparing a "slate" tablet PC while scores of other protagonists - including Lenovo, Asus and MSI - have already demoed tablet products at the last CES 2010 in January 2010.
Apple is also likely to play a positive role in promoting the sector as a whole, in other words, making the cake bigger for everyone else. It may also encourage other players - most notably mobile operators to launch their own tablet. T-Mobile already went that way with its T-Mobile tablet.
ABI Research is selling the report to those willing to buy it. Whether you trust analysts for foolproof predictions is yet another matter. While researching an article this morning we came across sales predictions for Intel's Itanium over a decade. These went from $38 billion to $1.4 billion in 7 years.