Keep taking the tablets, all 27 million of them

The tablet/slate market is going to go crazy in the next couple of quarters with a tablet expected from Research In Motion (RIM), slates from Microsoft partners running Windows 7 due at the end of the year, and iPad sales estimated to hit 27 million units in 2011. Yes, we really did say 27 million.

According to a research note from Ashok Kumar, an analyst and managing director at Rodman & Renshaw, Kumar expects iPad shipments to more than double to 27 million units in 2011.

Kumar also wrote about the status of component supply for the iPhone and iPad.

“Demand continues to chase supply for iPhones and iPads. In both instances, panels and touchscreen remain the supply bottleneck. While increased capacity and higher yields should improve availability of retinal screens from LG Display, it is unlikely to completely satiate global iPhone demand for remainder of the year,” he wrote.

Kumar also expects iPhone sales to go through the roof saying “estimates of 70 million iPhone shipments next year comfortably exceed street estimates of low-to-mid 50 million,” he wrote.

Kumar also hinted in his report that RIM is targeting the end of this year to bring out a small BlackBerry tablet powered by a 1GHz processor to rival the iPad.

“Research In Motion is trying to pull forward the launch of the 7-inch touchscreen tablet from early next year to year end…with a marginal point of differentiation being the front- and back-facing cameras for videoconferencing,”

Meanwhile Microsoft CEO Steve “Barmy” Ballmer, giving the opening keynote at the Worldwide Partner Conference, told his audience to expect Windows 7 slate computers before the end of this year. “We know you really want to know what’s coming.”

Microsoft’s Chief went onto say, “They [the Slate PC’s] will come from the people you would expect. From Asus, from Dell, from Samsung, from Toshiba, from Sony.”

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