FRAMINGHAM, MASS. – Android’s share of the worldwide tablet shipment grew slightly in 2012 at the expense of Apple’s share, research and consulting company IDC said.
Through 2016, however, Apple and Android unit share will both shrink by several percentage points as the share of Windows tablets (including Windows 8 and Windows RT) rises from 2.9 percent in 2012 to 10.3 percent in 2016, IDC forecast.
“The breadth and depth of Android has taken full effect on the tablet market as it has for the smartphone space,” said Ryan Reith, program manager for IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers. “Android tablet shipments will certainly act as the catalyst for growth in the low-cost segment in emerging markets given the platform’s low barrier to entry on manufacturing.”
In 2012, IDC expects Apple’s share to fall to 53.8 percent from 2011’s 56.3 percent and fall in 2016 to 49.7 percent despite a 2012 through 2016 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 percent. Android’s share in 2012 will rise to 42.7 percent from 2011’s 39.8 percent but slide to 39.7 percent in 2016despite a 2012-2016 CAGR of 21 percent. For its part, Windows tablets will grow from 1 percent in 2011 to 2.9 percent in 2012 on its way to 10.3 percent in 2016, thanks to a 2012-2016 CAGR of 69.2 percent.
In units, worldwide tablet shipments will hit 122.3 million in 2012, rising to 172.4 million in 2013 and reaching 282.7 million in 2016, IDC said.
The increase in tablet shipments is coming at the expense of e-readers, IDC noted. “While the front-lit e-reader offerings from Amazon and Barnes & Noble have captured the interest of a subset of consumers who prefer a dedicated e-reader, most buyers are gravitating toward multi-use tablet products and finding a ‘good enough’ reading experience on these traditional backlit tablets, IDC said.
IDC expects 2012 e-reader shipments to fall to 19.9 million units from 2011’s 27.7 million units.