IDC: iPad to dominate tablet sales for another four years. Is it possible?

March 14, 2012

If there was any doubt that the tablet is here to stay, one can simply look at the latest report released by IDC. The research firm predict that global tablet shipments will reach 106.1 million units in 2012, up from the previously forecasted figure of 87.7 million units. A good chunk of these units will come from Apple, which is currently basking in the glow of the soon-to-be-released new iPad.

Meanwhile, the report all but confirms the market popularity of competitively-priced Android tablets, specifically of the Amazon Kindle Fire, which helped the Android platform capture a bigger slice of the tablet pie over the final quarter of 2011. IDC’s report confirms previous analyses that estimated a change of tides in terms of market share of iOS and Android.

Overall, the Android platform improved its market share from 32.3% to 44.6% in Q4 2011. Apple finished the year weakened, as it grabbed 57.4% market share, down from close to 80% in 2012. Other “notable” platforms include the Blackberry, which slid from 1.1% to 0.7%, and the defunct WebOS. The latter saw a spectacular, if sad, demise, considering it grabbed a 5% market share in the previous quarter, thanks to the firesales prompted by HP’s abrupt decision to ditch WebOS.

It’s rather interesting, to say the least, how IDC predicts that Android tablets would only gain small traction in 2012, and how it’d take four more years for Android to dominate the market. While the new iPad hysteria will no doubt last for months, there are many solid Android tablets expected to enter the market this year. Coupled with Google’s push into the content side with the revamped Google Play, we do think that 2012 is the year when Android will become the leading platform in the tablet market.

What do you think? Can the iPad hold 50%+ of the tablet market for another four years?

Comments

  • Leif Sikorski

    I think Android will dominate the tablet market by end 2012.

    MeMo for about 249US$, the Google Tablet for about 199-249US$ (if rumors are true) and maybe a new Kindle tablet will raise the market share in western region a lot I guess. And then there is the huge growing eastern market most people don’t speak and think about which Android already dominates. Taiwan is for example very huge market and also one of the three biggest markets for app downloads. There actually Android has a market share about 75%.

    • symbolset

      I think it will be very close for full year 2012. Because Apple puts an exceedingly strong finish on the calendar year, I’m inclined to give them the edge. Unless there’s a significant change though, next year will be all about Droid.

  • AppleFUD

    A lot will change with Win8’s release. These predictions are about as good as forecasting the weather three years out.

    • 8PAQ

      Exactly. If anything Android will lose markets hate next year.

    • symbolset

      With a 17 year history of repeated failure in tablets, predicting the success of a tablet with Microsoft software on it is a fairly risky proposition. Normally people don’t project things to be that wildly different from their experience. Especially when they don’t have the thing in hand, but are only imagining what it might be.

      You sound very hopeful.

  • sameer_singh17

    I think that’s too conservative. Android will overtake the iPad in quarterly sales by the end of the year and in annual sales by next year.

    http://www.tech-thoughts.net/2012/03/new-ipad-tablet-market.html

    • symbolset

      Concur. Apple will continue to see huge growth, immense margins and ridiculous profits of course. That goes without saying.

  • Coderrek

    no chace in hell

    Android tablets are already outselling ipads

    • symbolset

      I think they come even this quarter, but iPad should pull ahead again next quarter on iPad launch – maybe for the last time.

      HP and Dell are missing a gravy train here.