Apple iPad
Apple's tablet pinched more two thirds of the global market in 2011, but rivals lining up to swipe some of the action

Apple's iPad continues to dominate the global tablet market, racking up 40m sales in 2011 and with projections it could shift well over 70m units this year.

But the growing tablet market is seeing rivals making inroads into Apple's lead – despite those increased sales, it's predicted to lose market share this year.

The figures, from analysts Gartner, show that in 2011 the iPad sold 40m units, giving it a market share of 66.6%.

And it's projected that 2012 sales, helped by recent launches of the device in markets such as China, will reach 73m.

Android advancing

However, that will only give Apple a 61.4% market share, as rivals play catch-up. Android-based tablets, which sold 17.3m units to take a 28.8% share in 2011, are expected to shift 37.9m units this year, boosting their share to 31.9%

Windows-based devices are projected to sell 4.9m in their first year of availability – tablets are expected after the release of Windows 8 in October – taking a 4.1% share.

But the Gartner figures may have been slightly wrongfooted by RIM: the prediction that Blackberry tablets would increase market share to 2.2% by more than trebling their 2011 sales was made before another delay was announced for the Blackberry 10 operating system, which could impact on sales.

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