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Revenue from capacitive touchscreen devices is expected to soar over the next few years. Demand and popularity for portable devices, mainly tablets and smartphones, is growing at an exponential rate with no signs whatsoever of slowing down.

Let’s rewind a bit here. Do any of you remember people claiming that the iPad was nothing more than a fad, one that would be short lived? People made comments like “the iPad is a fun toy and great for watching videos but has no real practical use“. Wow, these people weren’t just a little off base, they were miles away from the ball park. My favorite baseball player when I was growing up was Ken Griffey Jr., one of the greatest home run hitters of all time, and not even he would be able to hit the ball anywhere near these tablet pc critics.

Whatever the case, that was then and this is now. A little more than a year later those critics must finally have their blindfolds off, they have no choice really because the numbers don’t lie. DisplaySearch, a well known and trusted research firm, has released some mind blowing statistics related to the present and expected future growth of tablet computers. In 2010 more than 26 million tablet pc units were shipped. That wasn’t a typo either. This year those numbers are on pace to hit 72 million units. Those numbers are expected to grow to more than 100 million units by 2012. In other words the tablet pc market will more than quadruple in growth and revenue in only 2 short years.

Forecast chart for touch screen device expected revenue growth

So as you can see, the tablet pc market has quickly become a multi-billion dollar industry. Those numbers above only account for capacitive touch screen tablets. Statistics for smartphone growth is tremendously higher since they have been around longer and are the most commonly used capacitive touchscreen device. Nonetheless, this is a tablet pc related site and what I’m trying to point out is that popularity for tablet computers continues to soar. Although smartphones currently rank as the #1 most used portable touchscreen device, tablet pc’s are in fact gaining percentage points as the most popular device of choice.

At the moment the iPad still ranks as the most widely used tablet pc. Among the list of most commonly used operating systems for such devices (smartphones & tablets) iOS dominates 49%, or practically half of the market. Other industry leaders are making tremendous headway though and the Android OS is not far behind at 41%, creeping up and gaining percentage points for the last 7 months in a row! Watch out Apple! Let’s not forget other popular mobile operating systems such as the upcoming Windows table OS (aka Windows 8 OS) and RIM’s BlackBerry tablet OS among others.

Demand for such devices is one thing, but competition also continues to heat up which respectively has a big impact on how much the tablet computer industry grows. More manufacturers entering the market means more options in several different price brackets for consumers, ultimately resulting in overall growth in revenue as a whole. The lineup of future tablet computers expected to hit the market soon is nearly impossible to keep up with, even for people such as myself who practically eat, sleep and breathe all things gadget related. Let’s not forget others that have recently hit the scene such as the HP TouchPad along with the new tablet webOS 3.0 which looks very promising as well.

However you spin it (or blend it for the gadget destroying fanatics among us), it’s very interesting to watch the industry take off. There’s certainly no shortage when it comes to innovation and advancements in the world of tablets and technology.

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