According to iSuppli forecast, worldwide iPad sales are expected to reach 7.1 million units in 2010. Sales will double to 14.4 million in 2011 and nearly triple to 20.1 million in 2012. More from iSuppli:
"Touch is the new standard for user interfaces, providing a naturally intuitive way of operating an electronic device, whether you are two or 92," said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research for iSuppli.
"The tablet form factor is ideally suited to touch. The iPad represents an intriguing mix of two devices that have struggled to gain traction for years: Internet appliances and tablet PCs. In a sharp departure from past tablet implementations, it appears that Apple has both minimized and maximized the capabilities of the devices, limiting it as a creation device but compensating for this shortcoming by offering a wealth of easily consumable applications. The device's initial limitations are likely to be overlooked if Apple provides enough content to keep users engaged within the product limitations."
Nonetheless, being first out of the gate with a low-cost tablet alternative gives Apple a distinct advantage, Alexander said. "2010 sales could potentially climb much higher than the seven million figure, and that first year success ? combined with expected ongoing innovation ? will help to keep Apple at the forefront of the tablet market for several years. Key to continuing success will be how quickly Apple responds to issues as they arise and whether the company can align suppliers to meet demand needs."