The analysts at IDC have predicted that 122.3 million tablets will ship in 2012. Previously, IDC predicted that 117.1 million units would ship, but according to IDC’s tablets research director, Tom Mainelli, the increased traction from Android tablets, as well as the strong holiday sales that Apple is expected to have, resulted in the updated forecast.
IDC also raised their forecasts for tablet shipments in 2013. In 2013, we should expect to see about 172.4 million tablets ship instead of the previously predicted 165.9 million. In 2016, we should also expect to see 282.7 million tablets ship, which is 21.3 million more compared to their previous 261.4 million prediction.
Tom Mainelli released a statement saying,
“Tablets continue to captivate consumers, and as the market shifts toward smaller, more mobile screen sizes and lower prices points, we expect demand to accelerate in the fourth quarter and beyond,”
IDC also expects to see Android’s share of the tablet market to increase to 42.7% in 2012 up from 39.8% in 2011. Apple’s share in the tablet market is expected to fall to 53.8% in 2012 down from 56.3% in 2011. Windows 8 & Windows RT tablets are expected to take about 2.9% of the market in 2012.
Ryan Reith, program manager of IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers, also released a statement saying,
“The breadth and depth of Android has taken full effect on the tablet market as it has for the smartphone space. Android tablet shipments will certainly act as the catalyst for growth in the low-cost segment in emerging markets given the platform’s low barrier to entry on manufacturing.”
IDC also predicts that eReaders will take a dramatic hit as more buyers venture towards multi-use tablets. The eReaders are expected to ship 19.9 million units in 2012 which is a significant drop from the 27.7 million units shipped in 2011.
It’s great to see more and more consumers discovering the joys of having a tablet. It also helps that there are so many competitive price points on tablets that make them more affordable for the average consumer.