Apple has sold about 20 million iPad and iPad 2 tablet computers since the tablet’s introduction in April, 2010. Now some analysts are predicting that in 2011, Apple could sell a projected 70 million units. In addition, it is also being predicted that in the next three years, Apple has the potential to sell another quarter million of its very popular tablet computer.

I recently wrote that Bill Gates stated that tablets and smart phones are nothing more than extensions of the PC. Many in the technology field have dubbed the Apple iPad phenomenon as the TC [tablet computer] revolution. Though other companies are attempting to enter into the tablet computer marketplace, Apple appears to be in the lead and continues to pull ahead of the pack.

Hewlett Packard, which is a major player in selling PCs reported a first quarter sales dip of 23% for personal computers. Dell has reported a 7.5% drop in PC sales. I would venture a guess that all PC companies have also seen a dip in sales of the personal computer.

There are three reasons why the Apple iPad will continue to rule while PC sales plunge:

Easy: The Apple iPad is easy to use. Screen actions are fluid without any lag. The little computer is light enough to carry everywhere without breaking your shoulder.

Efficient: It does everything most people need to do such as surfing the Internet, staying in contact with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and checking email.

Fun: It’s fun to use. Apple has more applications for its device than any other company. Games are extremely popular for all Apple device users with games being the most popular downloads.

Last week the folks at Gartner tried to downplay the success of the Apple iPad, citing that less than 5% of the world owned a tablet device. I believe that the number of tablet computers would be higher if Apple were able to meet the demand. Unfortunately, the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan curtailed manufacturing of iPad parts for a period of time. Many people who are potential iPad purchasers are waiting in line, still trying to get their hands on the Apple iPad.

If the forecasts prove true, the first victim of the tablet revolution could be the home computer system. It should also be interesting to see how the new Chromebooks affect PC sales. 2011 could be the year many users break their reliance on Windows and choose an alternative operating system for the first time.

Comments welcome.