IDC ups tablet estimates, expects shipments to reach 222.1 million by 2016

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Half of U.S. adults own a smartphone or a tablet

Market research firm IDC on Thursday released a new study new tablet shipment estimates. Due to higher than expected demand in the second half of 2012, IDC has increased its worldwide forecast for tablet shipments from 106.1 million units to 107.4 million. The shipments will be lead by Apple’s iPad, which is expected to account for 62.5%, up from 58.2% in 2011. Meanwhile Android’s market share is expected to slip from 38.7% in 2011 to 36.5% in 2012. The firm also revised its 2013 forecast to 142.8 million units, an increase from 137.4 million, and worldwide shipments are now estimated to reach 222.1 million units by 2016. “Demand for media tablets remains robust, and we see an increasing interest in the category from the commercial side,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices at IDC. “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’s press release follows below.

IDC Increases Media Tablet Forecast, Expects New Products and Price Points to Drive Strong Shipment Growth Through 2016

14 Jun 2012

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., June 14, 2012 – Expectations of strong demand for media tablets in the second half of 2012 has led International Data Corporation (IDC) to increase its forecast for the worldwide market to 107.4 million units for the year, up from its previous forecast of 106.1 million units. In the latest forecast update of the Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker, IDC also revised upward its 2013 forecast number from 137.4 million units to 142.8 million units. And by 2016 worldwide shipments should reach 222.1 million units.

“Demand for media tablets remains robust, and we see an increasing interest in the category from the commercial side,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices at IDC. “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.”

In addition to increasing the unit totals for 2012, IDC also updated its forecast to shift a larger percentage of future units toward iOS and away from Android. IDC now expects iOS to grow its share of the market in 2012 to 62.5%, up from 58.2% in 2011. Meanwhile Android’s share will slip from 38.7% in 2011 to 36.5% in 2012. IDC expects third-place Blackberry to slip from 1.7% to 1%.

“After a very strong launch of new products in March, Apple’s iPad shows few signs of slowing down,” Mainelli added. “The addition of the Retina Display and 4G capabilities to the third-generation products clearly enticed many current owners to upgrade. And Apple’s decision to keep two iPad 2s in the market at lower prices—moving the entry-level price down to $399—seems to be paying off as well. If Apple launches a sub-$300, 7-inch product into the market later this year as rumored, we expect the company’s grip on this market to become even stronger.”

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