Framingham, Mass. - Media tablet shipments doubled to more than 10 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared with the prior quarter, according to IDC.
The research firm reported 10.1 million media tablets shipped worldwide in the fourth quarter, up from 4.5 million during the 2010 third quarter. For 2011, IDC is predicting up to 50 million media tablets will ship worldwide.
However, the quarter saw Apple's market share dip 20 percent to a still-dominant 73 percent, IDC said, due primarily to competition from Samsung's Galaxy Tab, which garnered 17 percent of the market.
This drop is not expected to continue. Despite a large influx of new media tablets coming onto the market later this year, IDC expects Apple's market share to range between 70 percent and 80 percent. This is due to Apple having already put out a second-generation model, the
, while the majority of the industry is still working on entering the field with their first models.
IDC believes Samsung will give up chunks of its market share as new competitors enter the mix, despite the launch later this year of a 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab based on the Android 3.0 OS.
IDC defines a media tablet as having a screen size no smaller than 5 inches and no larger than 14. It must use a lightweight operating system like Android or iOS and be powered by an ARM or x86 processor. IDC considers a tablet PC as one running a full OS and just an x86 processor.