Framingham, Mass. — IDC is forecasting that Android-based tablets will take over as the market share leader from Apple iOS in 2013 and maintain this lead going forward.
IDC also upped its worldwide tablet shipment numbers to 190.9 million, from 172.4 million, due to the increased volume of smaller-screen-size tablets expected to hit the market this year. IDC expects at least 350 million tablets to ship by 2017.
According to the company’s report, Android units should have 48.8 percent of the market this year, up from 41.5 in 2012, with iOS falling to 46 percent from 51 percent. Android is expected to maintain this lead going forward, although its share will dip slightly to 46 percent in four years. During the same period iOS will fall off a corresponding amount, holding onto 43.5 percent of the market.
The Windows and Windows RT operating systems will account for the bulk of the remaining share, with the former at 2.8 percent and the latter at 1.9 percent, respectively, this year. Looking four years down the road, Windows will increase its share to 7.4 percent while RT stays relatively stagnant, moving up to just 2.7 percent, according to IDC.
IDC Tom Mainelli, tablets research director, said Microsoft’s decision to support two competing operating systems has led to poor results so far.
“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,” he said.