The global market for tablet computers is growing faster than earlier
estimates suggested, with Android-powered devices gaining on the
market-leading iPads, a survey said Wednesday.
IDC said it boosted its
forecast for global tablet sales for 2012 to 122.3 million, from 117.1
million, in large part due to demand for Android tablets and the new
IDC also raised its 2013 forecast number to 172.4
million, up from 165.9 million and said shipments by 2016 worldwide
shipments should reach 282.7 million.
"Tablets continue to
captivate consumers, and as the market shifts toward smaller, more
mobile screen sizes and lower price points, we expect demand to
accelerate in the fourth quarter and beyond," said Tom Mainelli,
research director for tablets at IDC.
"Android tablets are gaining
traction in the market thanks to solid products from Google, Amazon,
Samsung, and others. And Apple's November iPad mini launch, along with
its surprise refresh of the full-sized iPad, positions the company well
for a strong holiday season."
IDC now expects Android's worldwide
tablet share to increase to 42.7 percent for 2012 from 39.8 percent in
2011. Apple's share is expected to slip to 53.8 percent from 56.3
percent in 2011.
"The breadth and depth of Android has taken full
effect on the tablet market as it has for the smartphone space," said
Ryan Reith, an IDC analyst.
"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. At the same time, top-tier companies like Samsung,
Lenovo, and ASUS are all launching Android tablets with comparable to
premium products, but offered at much lower price points."
predicts Windows-based tablets, including new devices from Microsoft and
others, will gain share from both iOS and Android, growing from one
percent of the market in 2011 to 2.9 percent in 2012 and 10.2 percent in