Even the usually sober Gartner has got caught up in iPad mania.
It expects that, thanks to Apple’s latest iconic device, sales of media tablets will go through the roof, hitting 19.5 million units this year, 54.8 million in 2011, and 208 million in 2014.
Gartner believes the iPad will account for more than 80% of sales this year, as media tablets leave e-readers, netbooks and gaming devices in their dust.
Tablets are already crimping netbook sales and, according to IDC, will take eight percentage points off the netbook share of the laptop market next year.
But Gartner research vice-president Carolina Milanesi says high-end smartphones will feel the most pain from the rise of the tablet, in particular seven-inch devices because “it will be hard for a user to justify owning both when the differentiation in usage model is very limited.”