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Liz Jaques 

888.7m 'media' tablets to be sold between 2010 & 2015

iPad 2

Between 2010 and 2015, a total of 888.7 million media tablets will be sold, according to new IHS iSuppli (NYSE: IHS) research.

Tablet sales will reach 262.1 million units by 2015, rising at a 72.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 17.4 million units in 2010.

'Media' tablets, which are built on ARM microprocessors and use mobile operating systems, have already surpassed the 25 million sales mark following the launch of Apple's iPad and many more competitors, including the Galaxy Tab from Samsung.

By comparison, PC-type tablets - which have full PC functionality, run on operating systems such as Windows or Linux, and have been around for much longer - will sell just 88.8 million between 2010 and 2015. A total of 45.2 million PC tablets will be shipped in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 81.5% from 2.3 million units in 2010.

"While there's clearly a need for tablet PCs with full PC functionality, the media-type tablet pioneered by the Apple Inc. with the iPad will reign supreme during for at least the next five years," said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research at IHS. "Because the tablet form factor will favor media consumption - rather than content creation - media tablets will massively outsell their PC-type tablet alternatives."

Media tablet usage is largely concentrated on web browsing, social networking, email and consuming content such as videos, music, magazines, e-books and games. In contrast, PC-based tablets are designed for work use.

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