Framingham, Mass. - IDC has raised its 2012 worldwide tablet forecast to 106 million units.
IDC had previously predicted 88 million units would ship worldwide, but citing strong sales of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet in the fourth quarter of 2011, the research firm decided to up its estimate.
Tom Mainelli, IDC's mobile connected devices research director, said the Fire was originally expected to rob sales from other Android-based tablets, but instead the Fire raised the general awareness of tablets among consumers giving all tablet brands a boost.
IDC reported that 28.2 million tablets were shipped during the fourth quarter of last year, more than 2.5 times what shipped during the same period in 2011. About 15.4 million of the tablets shipped were iPads, more than double what the company shipped the previous fourth quarter.
For all of 2011, 68.7 million tablets shipped, 9 percent higher than IDC's original forecast. In 2010, 19.4 million were shipped.
For a comparison, IDC noted that 350 million personal computers shipped in 2011. If not for hard-drive shortages caused by the flooding in Thailand, even more would have been shipped, the company said.