Tab-athon: A whopping 107 m tabs to be sold this year – even more of these will be iPads as it chews up rivals.
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US analysts IDC now expects Apple’s global share of the tabs pie to grow this year to 62.5% – up from 58% in 2011.
So Apple will sell close to 67 million iPads this year, cementing its No. 1 tab spot, in spite of the bundles of Droids that have flooded the market.
This now means Android carriers including Acer, Samsung and Toshiba, are left to fight out for the remaining 36.5% share between them. this year
Expectations of strong demand for tablets in H2 2012 has prompted the IDC to up its tablet forecasts for 2012 by one million.
And if you think that’s big, wait til next year when 137.4 m -142.8 m devices will be shipped, say analysts.
However, the 2016 picture looks very similar to now – Android share will increase slightly to just over 38%, while iOS will hold strong at almost 61%.
By 2016 shipments may reach a dizzying 222.1 million units.
“After a very strong launch of new products in March, Apple’s iPad shows few signs of slowing down,” said Tom Mainelli, IDC research director, Mobile Devices.
“The addition of the Retina Display and 4G capabilities to the third-generation products clearly enticed many current owners to upgrade.”
Apple’s decision to keep two iPad 2s in the market at lower price seems to be paying off as well.
And if the iPad guru plays its cards right and launches a sub-$300, 7″ tablet later this year as rumoured, IDC reckons its grip on this market will become “even stronger.”
But its not all about iPad, say analysts, who predict Windows 8 to kick start interest in portable computer devices even more.
“We expect pending new products from major players, increasingly affordable mainstream devices, and a huge marketing blitz from Microsoft around Windows 8 to drive increased consumer interest in the category through the end of the year.”
IDC is not currently forecasting Windows 8 or Windows RT tablets in its Media Tablet Tracker but will do from next quarter onwards. Microsoft Windows 8 OS is due out later this year and a flurry of brands are set to released W8 tabs including Acer, Samsung and Asus.
However, analysts don’t expect Windows-based tabs to steal share from iPad and Android, but will grow the overall market.
And it looks like eReaders will suffer at the hands of surging tablet category this year and will slip slightly downwards this year.