Infographic of the Day: The Blistering Rise of iPad and Tablet Computing

If you’re not much of a tech nerd, you’d be forgiven for thinking the iPad and the ensuing tablet boom are merely some kind of hype machine. You’d also be wrong, if industry analysts are right. Long story short, 2010 was just the barest tip of the tablet onslaught. In two years time, they’ll be more numerous than mosquitos in July, as this infographic lays out.

The data below, produced by Morgan Stanley and Forrester, among others, and then laid out by Focus, presents hockey-stick growth scenarios for iPad and its ilk. What’s probably most surprising is how mainstream their appeal is — a whopping 14% of online shoppers say they plan to purchase an iPad in the next five months; total sales are expected to rise 1000% by 2014.

[Click for full-sized version]

Keep in mind, a few early reviewers panned the iPad, saying they couldn’t understand what you’d use it for. (Never mind that these people tended to miss the point of a new paradigm in relaxed, “lean-back” computing.)

But what might be the most insightful points on the infographic are at the end. The gaming industry probably stands to be rocked the hardest by tablets, since they relegate most handheld gaming systems to the trash heap. But device makers who jump on the tablet bandwagon will probably be wracked at how cannibalistic the sales of tablets are — after all, you buy a tablet instead of a netbook, which means that players such as Dell won’t be able to catch Apple simply by entering iPad’s market.