Research firm IDC says that around 18 million tablet devices have been shipped worldwide in 2010 with 50 million expected to be shipped in 2011, nearly three times the 2010 numbers.
Apple captured the bulk of the market with 83 per cent market share ahead of smaller rivals like Samsung or ZTE. The company, IDC says, will still get between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of the market in 2011, which could mean up to 40 million iPad devices sold this year.
In the fourth quarter of 2010 alone, more than 10 million tablets were sold with the Galaxy Tab, a hybrid smartphone/tablet, capturing 17 per cent of shipment.
IDC (via Businessweek) was quick to point out though that shipments do not necessary means sales which could mean that Samsung may have to discount the Galaxy Tab heavily to get rid of existing stocks ahead of the launch of newer models like the Galaxy Tab 8.9-inch.
IDC also measured shipments of e-book readers and found out that the Amazon Kindle is still the market leader with 48 per cent of the market followed by Sony, Barnes & Noble, Nook and the likes.
In all, 12.8 million e-book readers were sold last yaer, with just under half in the last quarter of the year, which alone amounts for twice the number of e-readers shipped in 2009.