The Apple iPad might be the most famous tablet out there, but it’s also solid gold for the whole slate segment, at least in Europe. According to trend watcher Context Research, the iPad alone tripled European tablet sales, resulting in a 257% market boost. Introduced in late May, the device sold hundreds of thousands of units in the first weeks after its launch in Europe.

Worldwide shipments of the slate are likely to reach 8.13 million by the end of the year, according to experts. However, we don’t know how long Apple will keep this up, considering the numerous rival products, with very varied choices, as far as processors, operating systems and hardware specs are concerned.

In Asia, for example, we see a tablet or two launched each day, as the local companies try to fight off the Apple domination.

[via tabletpcreview]