250 Million Tablets Likely to Ship by 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — More than 250 million tablets will be shipped by 2017, and most will have display screens from 9 to 17 inches, a recent study predicted.

According to research firm In-Stat, the slates' growth will be powered by the iOS and Android operating systems that will dominate the market with more than a 90 percent share between them.

The Windows system is predicted to come in “a distant third.”

CNET reported that the findings jive with reports earlier this year from DigiTimes that said iPad shipments will reach about 36 million this year, while Android will hit nearly 20 million.

In 2012, those numbers are expected to jump to about 55 million for the iPad and about 45 million for Android devices.

Another research firm, Strategy Analytics said tablet sales could hit $49 billion in 2015, citing a meteoric growth in the market.

But the In-Stat report cautioned that manufacturers who don’t support “one of the leading operating systems” are likely to miss out because of a lack of app support.