Global tablet sales in 2011 – Forecasts versus actual sales

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will officially kick off in Las Vegas tomorrow. One thing we know for sure is that tablets will be one of the hottest types of gadgets in this year’s show. That’s evident already from the pre-show coverage: there’s everything from Toshiba’s “thinnest and lightest” tablet to a “waterproof” LTE Android tablet.

And since CES is upon us, we know we’re just a few days into the new year, so chances are that not many actual figures for sales of tablets in 2011 will have hit us yet.

However, we have managed to find a few and wanted to see how they stack up against the forecasts that have been made.

Mo’ tablets

After scouring the interwebs for any kind of sales and forecast numbers relating to tablets in the last couple of years, here’s what we found.

Forecasts for 2011 (worldwide, units):

Actual 2011 numbers (worldwide, units):

Forecasts seem pretty accurate

As you can see, we don’t have that many actual sales numbers yet for 2011, but expect those to trickle in over the coming months. According to this quick comparison between forecasts and actual numbers, there is not that much difference between what analysts thought the sales of tablets would be in 2011 and the actual results.

You could of course argue that some research companies keep adjusting their forecast for the entire year when they release sales figures every quarter or so. How hard is it then to land on the “correct” figure, whatever it may be?

However, there’s no doubt that consumers around the world are buying more and more tablets. What may be in doubt, at least somewhat, is what they actually do with them.

Cute cat-as-iPad-stand photo by Veronica Belmont.

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