Apple’s iPad has been critical in spearheading the exponential growth of the tablet PC market, which reported a growth of around 45 per cent in the last year. The International Data Corporation, or IDC, has the responsibility of tracking down the quarterly sales figures of media tablets and eReaders across the world. In its latest report, it has shown a total shipment of almost 5 million units in the third quarter of the year 2010. Compared to the earlier figure of 3.3 million the quarter just before that, it is clear that there has been a rapid increase in demand for tablet PCs and eReaders. What is even more surprising in these results is that the Apple iPad represents almost 90 per cent of the 5 million sold in the third quarter.

The increase in the sales number of eReaders is a direct result in this sudden popularity of the media tablet. This increase is evidenced from the fact that there was a total shipment of 2.7 million units of eReaders in the third quarter of last year, showing a 40 per cent increase from the previous quarter. In this, the United States had the biggest share of buyers, with two thirds of the total market.

Susan Kevorkian, the research director of Mobile Connected Devices, has stated that the increase in the media tablet market will “continue to accelerate in 4Q 2010 and beyond, with new product and channel expansion, experimentation, introduction of new products and services and competition in prices”.

The IDC, in its report, had defined a media tablet as a device with color display, varying in its size from 5 inches to 14 inches, and using a light operating system of the likes of the Android and Apple iOS and an x86 processor.

Samsung’s entry into the media tablet market with its Galaxy Tab, during the fourth quarter of last year, along with Xoom from Motorola and many other offers from other electronics companies, is said to fuel the evolution of the media tablet market further during 2011’s first quarter. In the year 2010, IDC had declared a total of 17 million units were sold across the world. It has predicted a total figure of nearly 45 million in this year, according to the data it collected. It further said that the United States would be having a share of 40 per cent of the purchases, and also predicted that the total sales figures would increase to 70.8 million units by the year 2012.

Apple seems to be the clear leader in terms of media tablets sales, and is predicted to be in the top position for a considerable amount of time. Meanwhile, the global market of eReaders has seen Amazon reporting the largest sales figures, with 1.1 million units in the third quarter last year. With this, it has a stake of a little more than 40 per cent in the eReaders market.