Let's forget for a moment that Apple
has been on the market since April of last year and still has yet to really be challenged. Despite the lack of competition, market research firm IDC says the media tablet market still managed to grow 45.1 percent in the third of 2010.
Much of that credit goes to the aforementioned iPad, but it's also a clear indicator that this emerging segment is more than just a passing fad.
"The media tablet market's rapid evolution will continue to accelerate in 4Q10 and beyond with new product and service introductions, channel expansion, price competition, and experimentation with new use cases among consumers and enterprises," said Susan Kevorkian, research director, Mobile Connected Devices.
When all the numbers are tallied, IDC predicts the media tablet market to reflect 17 million units in 2010. Going forward, ICD's crystal ball reveals shipments of 44.6 million tablets in 2011 and 70.8 million in 2012. Those are impressive numbers, but entirely realistic when you consider that Android 3.0-based tablets are on the horizon, as well as as HP's webOS slates and RIM's PlayBook, all of which look very promising.