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iPad accounts for hefty 73 per cent of tablet sales

Research suggests that Apple is still dominating when it comes to tablet sales, leaving Android in the dust.

Apple's iPad is on course to account for nearly three quarters of all tablet sales this year, leaving Android in the dust, according to research from statistical number-crunchers Gartner.

Worldwide tablet sales for 2011 are on track to total 63.6 million, according to the firm, with 73.4 per cent of those belonging to Apple's desirable slate.

"This is because Apple delivers a superior and unified user experience across its hardware, software and services," the bean counters suggested. Their words, readers, not ours. Apple is estimated to sell almost 47 million iPads this year, while Android tablet sales are reckoned to total a shade over 11 million by the time we ring in the new year.

That means Android tablets account for about 17 per cent of the market -- an improvement on last year, when it had a mere 14 per cent share. But when you consider that last year there were hardly any Android tablets available, whereas now we're practically insulating our attics with the blighters, the increase really isn't that impressive.

Gartner had to revise its estimates for Android sales down from previous calculations, stating that the success of low-end 'droid tablets in Asia and the hype surrounding Amazon's expected Kindle Fire tablet were all that stopped expectations dropping any further.

Other operating systems are not likely to put a dent in Apple's lead either, with neither RIM's QNX (used in the PlayBook) nor HP's now-abandoned webOS expected to garner more than a five per cent share of the total tablet pie.

So how come Android is failing to make an impact in the heady world of tablets? We could point the finger at any number of things, from a lack of tablet-specific apps, to tablets that simply cost too much and the truly weedy marketing efforts of their manufacturers. But we want to hear your theories, so let fly in the comments section below, or on our Facebook wall.