Tablet sales forecast rises on strong iPad sales

Steven Loeb · June 14, 2012 · Short URL:

Predictions up for 2013 as well; sales expected to top 222 million by 2016

Anyone paying attention could see that tablets are going to be the future of computers. With the release of the new iPad earlier this year making such a huge splash, the only question became: how fast is this market going to grow?

Faster than many expected, apparently.

Boosted by strong sales predictions for the back half of 2012, International Data Corporation has increased its sales forecasts for this year, and 2013 as well.

The original estimate had been 106.1 million units sold in 2012. That number has now been upped to 107.4 million. Next year will now see an estimated 142.8 million sold, higher than the original prediction of 142.8.

IDC is currently predicting 222.1 million tablets sold in 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."

Sales of the new iPad have accounted for much of the boost in sales so far this year, and as tablet shipments grow, IDC predicts stronger sales for Apple going forward.

Chart: Worldwide Media Tablet Shipments Split by OSHistorical and Forecast* 2010 - 2016 (Units in Millions)Description: Tags: Author: IDCcharts powered by iCharts

IDC is predicting that iOS sales will be 62.5% of the market in 2012, up from 58.2% in 2011. At the same time, estimates for Android are falling. They are expected to account for 36.5% this year, down from 38.7% last year.

Who is winning in battle of iOS vs Android depends on who you listen to. It was reported today that, while down from last month, Apple still sees over 91% of all tablet Web traffic. Their biggest competitor was the Samsung Galaxy, with 1.7% of traffic. But, in March, a survey of 30,000 mobile users in the United States found that a majority of them owned phones with the Android operating platform.

Meanwhile Blackberry, once one of the most popular phones, will be down to just 1% of the market by 2012 IDC says. 

"After a very strong launch of new products in March, Apple's iPad shows few signs of slowing down," Mainelli added.

Not included in the report were any Windows tablets, but they will be incorporated by next quarter.

IDC’s report also forecasted the future of e-Readers, whose overall sales are expected to drop from 28.2 million to 28 million this year. This is because of lower priced readers having an impact on demand. 

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