14 per cent of US online customers plan to buy a tablet computer within the next 12 months according to a new study from leading market research company Forrester Research. The 14 per cent was ahead of the 13 per cent planning to buy a laptop, 11 per cent planning to buy an eBook reader, 8 per cent planning to buy a netbook and 8 per cent said to be planning to buy a desktop computer.  

The survey, which questioned almost 4,000 consumers, could translate as 43 million tablet sales in the US by the end of 2011.

While the report will be good news for Apple, makers of the popular iPad, Forrester notes the findings are also: "Encouraging for Apple’s would-be tablet competitors: There’s interest in the category that goes beyond the iPad.”

The Forrester 'US Tablet Buyers Are Multi-PC Consumers' report is available online for $499.

Apple iPad Click here for a free digital sample of Macworld’s Complete Guide to the iPad. Packed with tips and tricks, this essential guide gives you the lowdown on all the iPad’s features, plus the top 50 apps you must download.