The growing surge in sales of lower-cost smaller tablets will increase the number of tablet shipments this year, according to a new report from IDC.
The research firm now expects global tablet shipments to rise to 190.9 million in 2012, this number is up from its previous forecast of 172.4 million. IDC now sees an average rise in shipments of 11 percent from now through 2016, leading to more than 350 million tablets shipped by the end of 2017.
What is interesting to note here is that, one in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size. Analysts expect smaller tablets to continue growing through 2013 and into next year. Tablet Manufacturers are moving quickly to continue to compete aggressively for consumer sales.
Potential buyers realize that these small devices are often more ideal than larger tablets for their light weight, increased mobility and value price points.
It is now project that Android’s tablet market share is likely to peak at 48.8 percent this year before dipping to 46 percent in another four years. But that will still keep Google’s mobile OS vying for the lead position in the tablet marketplace.
The market share held by Apple’s iOS is expected to dip from 51 percent last year to 46 percent in 2012, eventually falling to 43.5 percent in 2017.
Not hard to guess which Mobile OS will take some of the market share lost by Android and iOS? Of course Windows will win this third mobile position by default. Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablets could manage to take 7.4 percent of the Tablet market in 2017, which is up from 2.8 percent this year and just 1 percent last year.
Windows RT tablets will see some growth, grabbing a share of 2.7 percent in 2017 from 1.9 percent this year. But Microsoft Windows tablets still face many market challenges. “Microsoft’s decision to push two different tablet operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows RT, has yielded poor results in the market so far,” Tom Mainelli, IDC’s research director for tablets, said in a statement. “Consumers aren’t buying Windows RT’s value proposition, and long term we think Microsoft and its partners would be better served by focusing their attention on improving Windows 8. Such a focus could drive better share growth in the tablet category down the road.”
So the Tablet Market continues its upward growth curve with new buyers of the smaller tablet models with lower price points, driving overall future market expansion.