Apple’s iPad commanded 85 percent of the market for media tablets in 2010, according to full-year figures reported by ABI Research. The tablet market surged in the second half of the year, but it wasn’t just tablets: device categories including netbooks and mobile broadband-enabled eBook Readers showed gains in year-over-year shipment numbers in 2010. The hype that media tablets were displacing portable computers and dedicated CE device purchases simply didn’t become a reality.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab ranked a distant second to the iPad in market share, with about 8 percent, while Archos’s Internet Tablet range just barely moved the needle at 2 percent. These top three vendors accounted for 95 percent of the media tablet market between them. However many new entrants are looking to differentiate themselves from the $600+ ASP of the iPad, so low-feature and low-cost designs will become common. ABI Research expects between 40 and 50 million media tablets to ship worldwide in 2011.

ABI Research’s report, Tablets, Netbooks, and Mobile CE Market Data, provides forecasts for all Ultra-Mobile Devices (UMDs) including media tablets, netbooks, UMPCs, mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and six types of mobile broadband-enabled consumer electronics (CE) device including eBook Readers and Connected Personal Navigation Devices.

The database is part of the firm’s Tablets, Netbooks, and Mobile CE Research Service.