Tablet growth is set to explode this year, and businesses will certainly account for much of it. Companies are expected to purchase more than 10 million tablets in 2011, Reuters reports, based on a market forecast from consulting firm Deloitte.
The projection is in line with much of what we’re seeing already. Apple’s iPad is already being widely adopted by businesses — the company said 80 companies on the Fortune 100 list are testing or deploying it — and Apple COO Tim Cook went as far to say that he envisions an entire business run from one iPad. With RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook coming this year, even stodgy enterprise outfits may start considering tablets. And of course, we have Android 3.0 tablets on the horizon like the Motorola Xoom.
Healthcare and retail companies will likely lead enterprise tablet purchases, accounting for as much as 5 million units this year. That’s not too surprising — personal digital assistants and previous generations of tablet devices found some success in healthcare, and the potential uses for tablets in retail environments are widespread.
Deloitte expects tablet sales to reach 50 million this year, while smartphone sales will reach 375 million units. Strong growth in both tablets and smartphones will — for the first time ever — push down PC sales to less than half of the computing device market.