A growing number of people may require ink supplies in order to print off photos and documents directly from a tablet PC, as sales of the gadgets continue to rise.

According to a study by Canalys, shipments of Apple iPad's grew by 166 per cent in the third quarter of 2011 compared with the same period a year ago, although its market share fell from 96 per cent to 67 per cent due to increased competition from rivals such as Samsung, Asus and Acer.

Looking forward, the research firm expects the release of Amazon's Kindle Fire to have a major impact on the market.

The Android-powered device, announced by the online retailer in September, is claimed by the company to offer a premium product at a non-premium price, which Canalys predicted would be very tempting to consumers.

It stated: "The combination of a low price point and extensive video, audio and other content will propel Kindle Fire shipments to more than two million in the fourth quarter."

A wireless printer and mobile printing services could therefore be useful to many people this year in order to make the most of their new gadget.