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Demand for the iPad 3 will see the media tablet market near double in size during 2012, it has been suggested.

IT analyst Gartner expects a total of 118.9 million tablet units to be sold this year, up 98 per cent on 2011's total of 60 million, as more people seek mobile broadband deals.

And according to the firm, Apple's third-generation tablet - released last month - will lead the way.

"Apple's iOS continues to be the dominant media tablet operating system," Gartner stated.

The firm predicted it will account for 61.4 per cent of worldwide media tablet sales to end users in 2012.

"Despite the arrival of Microsoft-based devices to this market, and the expected international rollout of the Kindle Fire, Apple will continue to be the market leader through the forecast period," the analyst stated.

Carolina Milanesi, research vice-president at Gartner, said that despite PC vendors and phone manufacturers "wanting a piece of the pie", there has been very little success outside the Apple iPad to date.

"The arrival of the iPad 3 has reset the benchmark for the product to beat," she added.

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