IDC: Apple dominates the tablet market for the foreseeable future

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IDC currently estimates that 117.1 million tablets will be sold this year. Three months ago, the augurs had set only 107.4 million and six months ago even only 106.1 million. In addition, IDC has increased its expectation for 2013 to 165.9 million devices (previously: 142.8 million) and for 2016 to 261.4 million.

"Despite continued economic concerns in most regions of the world, consumers continue to buy tablets in record numbers and we expect strong demand especially for the fourth quarter, " said IDC research director for Mobile Connected Devices, Tom Mainelli. "Apple leads the market with its iPad and we expect this dominance to continue in the second half of the year." But there is still room for other players in the market; New products running Android and Windows would give consumers plenty of choice during Christmas shopping.

Incidentally, IDC is changing its methodology to include Windows-based slates in its tablet count. Tablets with Windows (now Windows 7, future Windows RT and 8) are expected to grow from 1 percent market share in 2011 to 4 percent this year and to 11 percent by 2016. For iOS, IDC expects 60 percent market share for 2012, after 57.2 percent in 2011, and a slight decline to 58 percent in 2016.

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The market share of Android is expected to decline from 38.9 percent to 35.3 percent and then even to 30.5 percent. In its forecast of March 2012, IDC had predicted the Google platform for 2016, the market leadership - a rationale for the relatively sudden change of heart, the experts guilty.

"Tablets with Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 and RT operating systems, including their own 'Surface' devices, will add some extra momentum, " commented analyst Jennifer Song. "However, we anticipate low shipments in the fourth quarter due to high prices and consumer confusion about these devices, while Android should benefit from the success of the Google Nexus 7 and the launch of the new Kindle Fires in the second half of the year."

Note: The infographic above is from http://www.statista.com/themen/580/tablet/infografik/622/tablet-absatz-prognosen-im-vergleich/.