Demand for Apple's latest iPad product is likely to lead to 2012 being a strong year for sales of media tablets, according to a new report.
International Data Corporation's (IDC's) Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker revealed there were 28.2 million units sold worldwide in the final three months of 2011.
This was an increase of 56.1 per cent compared with the previous quarter and 155 per cent higher than the same period in 2010, with this growth set to continue this year.
IDC has previously forecast total sales in 2012 would be around 87.7 million units, but it has now revised this upwards to 106.1 million based on strong demand for Apple products and other new entries to the market.
Tom Mainelli, research director for Mobile Connected Devices at IDC, said Apple is likely to remain the dominant vendor in terms of unit sales, helped by its latest product, which was unveiled last week at a press conference in California.
One of the key features of the new iPad is a high-definition screen that has been praised by many early reviewers.
The Wall Street Journal said: "Using the new display is like getting a new eyeglasses prescription – you suddenly realise what you thought looked sharp before wasn't nearly as sharp as it could be."
The Guardian added: "The iPad 3 puts Apple a mile ahead of anything we've seen from Android tablets."
However, IDC predicted there will still be a strong demand for rivals running the Android operating system, particularly models that can offer a more affordable alternative to Apple's gadget.
Mr Mainelli stated the "sheer number of vendors" making low-priced Android machines means the operating system is likely to displace iOS as the market-leading platform by 2015.
He added other cheap devices such as the Amazon Kindle Fire have also raised awareness worldwide of the options that are available for potential tablet buyers, despite this machine being on sale almost exclusively in the US in the final quarter of 2011.
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