CEA Expects Tablet Shipments To Hit 6.9 Million; iPads Make Up Nearly Half

Here's something that shouldn't really come as a surprise: tablet PC shipments are on the rise, and if reports are accurate, they'll continue to rise. The Consumer Electronics Association is watching the rise of tablet PCs closely. This year, they're likely to be one of the most purchased devices out, particularly by consumers who already own other devices. The tablet PC isn't new to the industry, but the iPad has created a new whirlwind of interest that should lead to high sales throughout the year.

We already know that the industry as a whole is on pace to break a lot of records when it comes to overall sales, but the CEA is projecting that shipments of tablet PCs alone in the U.S. will reach 6.9 million units. That should generate around $4.3 billion in revenue, and shipments could double next year to nearly 13.6 million units with around $8.1 billion in revenue. Those numbers are according to Steve Kidera, a CEA spokesperson, who also said: "Considering these products weren't on the market a year [ago], it's staggering how fast they are developing."

That's sort of true, but we're assuming he's talking about the new wave of tablets, which are more like slates and less like keyboard-less laptop computers. What's wild is that out of the 6.9 million units that are expected to be sold this year, around half or more of those could be iPads. Apple has already sold over 3 million iPads, and we're only in July. Talk about market dominance! But with Windows tablets to come later in the year, we suspect the balance will be found.