Look for 107.4 million tablet units to ship this year, according to IDC’s latest revised forecast. The company had projected 106.1 million units for the year, but continued consumer demand and greater-than-expected pick up from the commercial sectors are driving the fast tablet bus. IDC is revising upward its longer range expectations as well, seeing 141.8 million shipped in 2013. And by 2012 the annual shipments should hit 222.1 million units.
Competition at lower prices points and across different form factors is accelerating the market says research director for mobile connected devices Tom Mainelli.
While researchers previously expected that Apple market dominance would have to wane under the pressure of Android and Windows-powered units, some at prices much lower than the iPad, IDC is actually reassessing market share. It now says that instead iOS will grow its share to 62.5%, up from 58.2% in 2011. Android will see its share edge downward to 36.5% from 38.7%. Mainelli says that the arrival of the Retina Display and 4G connectivity in the new generation of iPads has helped Apple maintain its cachet, and the lower-priced iPad 2 ($399) makes it harder even for bargain hunters to go with the alternatives. “If Apple launches a sub-$300 7-inch product into the market later this year as rumored, we expect the company’s grip on this market to become even stronger,” he says.