market research+tablet sellsTablets will outsell PCs in the U.S. come 2015 the Yankee Group predicts. U.S. tablet sales will increase from 25 million in 2011 to reach more than 134 million in 2015, surpassing forecast PC sales by the end of the period, the Boston-based market research and consultancy says.

iPads represent 51% of all tablets owned in the U.S., but forecast gains don’t necessarily correlate with manufacturers’ market shares, the authors of the Yankee Group’s “2012 U.S. Tablet Landscape: An All-Too-Familiar Story” point out. Nearly 25% of respondents to a survey who said they intend to buy a tablet in the next six months said they didn’t know what brand they would buy.

“For the second quarter in a row, Apple’s iPad is leading the tablet market, forcing all other competitors to battle for the remaining 49 percent share,” said Carl Howe, research VP and head of the devices practice at Yankee Group. “It’s too late to change current ownership, but tablet makers looking to gain on Apple need to start improving their brand visibility and targeting people who don’t already have their minds set on an iPad.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • The Kindle Fire has cooled with consumers. Those who planned to buy a Kindle Fire in 2011 now own one, bumping ownership up to 7 percent. But today’s intent to buy has dropped off, falling from 11 percent last year to just 6 percent today
  • Samsung takes a hit. Last year, more than 10 percent of consumers owned a Samsung tablet and 8 percent intended to buy one in the next six months. In 2012, these figures have fallen to 7 and 4 percent, respectively

Smaller tablet manufacturers face an even grimmer outlook. Fewer than 4 percent of consumers currently own a BlackBerry PlayBook or Motorola- or Dell-branded tablet, and just 2 percent say they own an Asus tablet.

Media tablet sales in Q1 2012 were 185% higher than they were a year earlier, according to recent research from ABI Research. ABI also found that Apple dominated the ranks of tablet manufacturers and that Kinde Fire sales were fizzling out.

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