In China it may indeed be the year of the rabbit however according to tech analysts 2011 will be the year of the tablet just about everywhere else. With Apple set to unveil the next generation of iPads today 2011 may be a lot like 2010 in terms of Apple dusting the competition and dominating the market.
Apple sold some 15 million of the groundbreaking tablet computers last year and this year industry analysts are forecasting that tablet sales will top some 55 million. iPads will almost certainly make up the largest share of that market with this year's model expected to be slimmer than last year's and to contain a more powerful chip. The iPad 2.0 is also expected to be equipped with front and rear facing cameras, which will enable users to conduct the same sort of "FaceTime" videoconferencing that the iPhone 4 smartphone allows.
However most analysts are not forecasting major changes to the devices. As Ken Dulaney of Gartner Technology Research says, "The product was so good out of the shoot that I don't think there is a radical change forthcoming. "
With iPads closest rivals, the Samsung Galaxy and the Motorola Xoom trailing well behind in sales, Apple looks assured to make off with another title this year. If the tablet computer market were the English Premier League then Apple would certainly be Manchester United. The Galaxy and the Xoom may have their share of "encouraging results" and "good starts," but like Arsenal and Chelsea they will undoubtedly fall by the wayside allowing the iPad to make another strong market push and top the sales table yet again.