The market research firm IDC revised its earlier prediction that there will be 107 million tablet shipments this year. Basing on the increasing consumer demand as well as the influx of new products in the market, IDC predicts that there will be 117 million tablets sold in 2012. Its figures for next year likewise grew. Earlier, they predicted that in 2013, there will be 142 million tablet units sold. However, they now believe that tablet sales will reach 166 million, instead. The figures are surprising if one considers that the economy in many parts of the world is struggling, yet consumers continue to purchase tablets.
To date, the Apple iPad is still the king of tablets. For the rest of 2012, it will enjoy this position. Android- and Windows-based tablets, however, will also boost sales especially during the holiday season. Said time frame is commonly lucrative for device vendors. More importantly, the Android- and Windows-based tablets provide alternatives to more consumers who are looking for a tablet to suit their needs.
As regards Microsoft, IDC says that the Windows 8- and Windows RT-based tablets could get roughly 4 percent of the market for this year. This, however, is expected to increase. In 2016, for instance, IDC is predicting that these tablets running on Microsoft could have as much as 11 percent of the market.
Meanwhile, for Apple, IDC expects that its market share will decline to 58 percent in 2016 as compared to the 60 percent that it has today. Android, likewise, is headed for a dip. In 2016, Android will only have a 30.5 percent market share, as compared to its 35 percent at present.
CNET, however, conjectures that Apple’s lead among tablets could be boosted by the release of a smaller version of the iPad, which is unofficially called the iPad Mini. The device, which remains unconfirmed by the Cupertino company, could be the company’s answer to popular 7-inch Android tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire, among the other Android tablets that are currently available in the market.