Citigroup on Monday forecast that 35 million tablet computers will be sold in 2011, while Craig Berger, at FBR Capital Market, believes Apple alone will sell 40 million iPads in 2011, with a further 30 million tablets sales coming from Asus, Acer, RIM and HP.
Tablet sales of 35 million units are about one tenth that of PC sales, which Gartner estimates at 352.4 million units this year, up 14.3 percent over last year, but down from projected growth of 17.9 percent just two months ago.
Gartner has cut its estimates on PC shipments, saying tablets are increasingly serving as substitutes for PCs for light data consumption. Gartner predicts worldwide PC shipments in 2011 to hit 409 million, a 15.9 percent increase over 2010 but down from an earlier estimate of 18.1 percent growth.
Netbook market share keeps falling mainly due to tablets and this could last a few years, according to Gartner.
DRAMeXchange estimates around 222 million laptops and netbooks will be shipped worldwide in 2011, increasing 15.4% from 2010. Netbooks are mostly low-cost, basic laptops running Windows on Intel chips, but the majority of tablets will use ARM-based CPUs, paired with Google’s Android, WebOS or Apple’s iOS. They will offer newly developed apps from online stores.
Intel chips with “revolutionary” battery performance, ideal for tablets and phones, won’t show up until 2012, Citigroup’s analysts wrote last week.