When it comes to tablet computers, it seems that many of us still want to own Apple’s iPad 2 according to new figures released this week.

In the third quarter of 2011, Apple sold 11.1 million iPad 2 devices across the globe, and sales of the iPad 2 accounted for 61% of all tablet computer sales. This represented a rise of around 1.8 million compared to the second quarter.

It’s expected that Apple will continue to do well, almost doubling its 2010 sales of 7.3 million to around 14 million in 2011.

The market share held by Android tablets fell slightly over the third quarter, even though 2.4 million more tablets were sold than in the second quarter. This suggests that Android is quickly advancing on the iPad 2, largely thanks to the newer versions of the OS being more user-friendly and more stable, giving the buyer a slicker experience overall. The units also tend to be much cheaper.

Android is expected to overtake the iPad 2 in terms of market share in the next quarter, largely thanks to the budget Amazon Kindle Fire which is selling well in the US. However, the Kindle Fire runs a highly customised version of the Android operating system which does not provide access to the Android Marketplace or any Google apps. This means that, overall, Apple are likely to be making much more money than Google, and will probably continue to do so.

The successor to the iPad 2 is due in April this year and is likely to go head-to-head with the Kindle Fire. Some rumours suggest that a smaller iPad could be on the cards – and this would mean the unit would be more affordable, challenging low-cost tablets like the Kindle Fire. Industry experts also say that the new iPad will have Siri, and a QXGA display that’s double the resolution of the iPad 2.

Overall, the research company IDC suggest that we’ll buy more than 63 million tablet computers in 2011. In the fourth quarter, one in four PCs purchased will be a tablet.