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Cost, size cut in tablets boosts market forecast

Posted: 14 Mar 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:tablet  market forecast  eReader  iOS  Android 

The surge in smaller, lower-priced devices in the tablet market has led to a revision in the International Data Corp. (IDC) tablet market shipment forecast in 2013 to 19.09 crore units, up from its previous forecast of 17.24 crore units.

Increases in tablet shipments have been made throughout the forecast period with an average increase of 11 per cent between 2013 and 2016. The latest forecast update of the Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker estimates tablet shipments to be upwards of 35 crore by the end of 2017.

"One in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8inches in screen size. And in terms of shipments, we expect smaller tablets to continue growing in 2013 and beyond," said Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst for IDC's Tablet Tracker. "Vendors are moving quickly to compete in this space as consumers realise that these small devices are often more ideal than larger tablets for their daily consumption habits."

Android-based tablets expanded their share of the market notably in 2012, and IDC expects that trend to continue in 2013. Android's share of the market is forecast to reach a peak of 48.8 per cent in 2013 compared to 41.5 per cent in IDC's previous forecast. Android's gains come at the expense of Apple's iOS, which is expected to slip from 51 per cent of the market in 2012 to 46 per cent in 2013. Longer term, both iOS and Android will eventually relinquish some market share to Windows-based tablets, with Windows 8 predicted to grow from 1 per cent of the market in 2012 to 7.4 per cent in 2017. IDC expects Windows RT growth to remain below 3 per cent during the forecast period.

"Microsoft's decision to push two different tablet operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows RT, has yielded poor results in the market so far," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets. "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."

While IDC continues to revise its tablet forecast upward, the firm had done the opposite with the eReader forecast. The growth of low-cost tablets is clearly damaging the prospects of the single-use eReader, and IDC reduced its forecast for the category by an average of 14 per cent between 2013 and 2016. IDC believes eReader shipments peaked in 2011 at 2.64 crore units. After declining to 1.82 crore units in 2012, the category is expected to grow only modestly in 2013 and 2014, before it begins a gradual and permanent decline beginning in 2015.

 Market forecast by Tablet OS

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.





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