Two separate reports released Thursday indicate Apple's strangehold on the tablet marketplace isn't loosening up any time soon.

As the entire tablet industry grows in popularity as indicated by a recent report from IDC, Apple remains king, and unfortunately for its growing list of competitors, that doesn't look like it's changing any time soon.  According to IDC, 10.1 million media tablets were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010, more than double the 4.5 million shipped in the third quarter. Apple's iPad was at the top of the heap and it should remain that way in 2011 says IDC. The second iteration of the iPad, the iPad 2, goes on sale today.

Strong holiday sales of media tablets were in line with IDC projections and strong consumer interest in the category while device vendors scrambled to offer products competitive with Apple's iPad and now iPad 2,  Loren Loverde, vice president of IDC's Consumer Device Trackers said in a statement. Media Tablets are on pace to reach shipments of roughly 50 million units in 2011.

IDC expects Apple to maintain a 70-80 percent share of the market in 2011, even as many other companies release competing tablets. Competitors like the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab will face significant barriers such as pricing and market saturation IDC says in its report.

This falls in line with a recent survey from research firm ChangeWave. The company recently surveyed 3,091 consumers on tablet demand and future buying trends. It confirmed many of the same things from the IDC report.

Tablet demand will increase, as 27 percent of respondents indicated they plan on buying a tablet within the calendar year. This is a two point increase since November, the last time ChangeWave conducted the survey.

Meanwhile, of the future tablet buyers, 82 percent say they are going to buy an Apple iPad. No other single device comes even remotely close. The next highest is the Motorola Xoom at four percent.

Among iPad owners, 70 percent of those surveyed by ChangeWave are very satisfied with the device. 25 percent are somewhat satisfied and only two percent are somewhat unsatisfied.  

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