International Data Corporation (IDC (News - Alert)) has revised its tablet sales projections for the year, citing "continued robust consumer demand" as well as strong expectations for the fourth quarter, which will feature a number of notable tablet releases. As such, the firm says the worldwide media tablet market will move 117.1 million units before year's end, compared to the previously predicted 107.4 million units.
In the latest forecast update of the Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, forecasts for 2013 were also raised from 142.8 million units to 165.9 million. The report also states that worldwide shipments should reach 261.4 million units by 2016.
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"Despite ongoing economic concerns in most regions of the world, consumers continue to buy tablets in record numbers and we expect particularly strong demand in the fourth quarter," said Tom Mainelli, research director of Mobile Connected Devices at IDC.
Adding, "Apple (News - Alert) leads the market with its iPad, and we expect its dominance to continue in the second half of the year. Still, we believe there is room in the market for others to find success, and new Android (News - Alert)- and Windows-based products shipping in the coming months will give consumers plenty of buying options during the holiday season."
The previous tablet shipment figures failed to factor in Windows tablets — including those running Windows 7, Windows RT and Windows 8 — which are expected to make an impact on the market with the release of the Microsoft (News - Alert) Surface and other Windows 8/RT-based tablets in time for the holiday season. IDC expects Windows tablets to make up four percent of the market before 2013, up from one percent in 2011.
IDC expects "high prices and consumer confusion" to keep Windows tablet sales relatively low at first.
Meanwhile, the rumored iPad Mini should help strengthen iOS tablet market share, raising it to 60 percent, up from 57.2 percent in 2011, before 2013. Android is expected to lose ground this year, despite the release of three new Amazon Kindle Fire devices, capturing 35.3 percent of the market, compared to 38.9 percent last year.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman