The inundation of tablets upon these very pages from day to day should give you an idea that manufacturers see this as a golden opportunity to grab a big chunk of a fledgling market. According to Gartner, though, the prospects are a little less rosy -- for the next five years, anyway. Analyst estimates indicate that the tablet market will boom over the next five years, from 17,610,000 units last year to 294,093,000 in 2015. No, not 294,092,000. 294,093,000. Apple will be the dominant force, its market share not dropping below 50 percent until the terminal year of this study. Android will take up the lion share of the other half, with the remaining dredges shared by MeeGo, WebOS, and QNX. The latter, which powers RIM's upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook, is scheduled to have a 10 percent share. That'll be the closest thing to a threat that Google and Apple will face -- if you believe any of this.
Update: The figures above are in thousands of units.