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Android expected to dominate tablets, too

Mar 14, 2013 — by Rick Lehrbaum 474 views

After having its way with the smartphone market, Android is now poised for a repeat performance in the tablet market, according to market anlyst firm IDC.

IDC says it’s just tweaked its multi-year worldwide tablet market forecast to account for an average 11 percent increase in overall unit shipments from 2013 through 2016, based on a recent “surge in smaller, lower-priced devices.” The firm now projects annual tablet shipments to exceed 350 million units (globally) by the end of 2017.

By comparison, Strategy Analytics recently reported that Android smartphones accounted for nearly 70 percent of all smartphones shipped globally during 2012, amounting to nearly 500 million units for the year.


“One in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size, and in terms of shipments, we expect smaller tablets to continue growing in 2013 and beyond,” explains Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst for IDC’s Tablet Tracker. “Vendors are moving quickly to compete in this space as consumers realize that these small devices are often more ideal than larger tablets for their daily consumption habits.”

According to IDC, Android expanded its share of the global tablet market “notably” in 2012, and is likely to continue that trend through 2013. The firm now projects Android’s market share to peak at 48.8 percent this year, compared to its prior forecast of 41.5 percent for the year. Apple’s iOS share, meanwhile, is projected to fall to 46 percent of the tablet market in 2013, from its 51 percent share in 2012. “Longer term, both iOS and Android will eventually relinquish some market share to Windows-based tablets,” adds Ubrani, who projects Windows 8 to grow to 7.4 percent of the market by 2017.

The table below shows IDC’s data for 2012 and 2013 market share, and for the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2012 through 2017.

  2013 Market Share 2017 Market Share 2012-2017 CAGR (%)
Android 48.8% 46.0% 14.8%
iOS 46.0% 43.5% 15.0%
Windows 2.8% 7.4% 48.8%
Windows RT 1.9% 2.7% 27.9%
Other 0.6% 0.4% 7.5%
Totals 100% 1000% 16.6%


The interactive chart below shows IDC’s data graphically.

IDC says “single-use eReaders” have been the primary casualty of the trend toward low-cost Android tablets, resulting in its eReader shipments forecast being lowered by an average of 14 percent between 2013 and 2016. “IDC believes eReader shipments peaked in 2011 at 26.4 million units,” the firm stated. “After declining to 18.2 million units in 2012, the category is expected to grow only modestly in 2013 and 2014, before it begins a gradual and permanent decline beginning in 2015.”

This data comes from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, March 2013. For further information on IDC’s reports, visit its website, here.

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3 responses to “Android expected to dominate tablets, too”

  1. sola says:

    Windows RT having a CAGR of 27% looks completely nonsense. Practically, all major producers stopped shipping them and Surface RT is hardly shipping in any meaningful volume.

    Even the Win8 CAGR is very questionable. The current uptake of Win8 tablets is VERY modest and if the desktop is any indication it will remain the same.

  2. Phill says:

    You people totally ignored the “Phablet” effect on Tablets market.
    I don’t beleive people will need or have 2 devices (Phone and Tablet).
    Actually, I will chose only a 5″ device.

  3. Francis says:

    Total nonsense. Just reading the latest statistics by Digitimes and looks like iPad is rapidly losing marketshare. Hardly more than 11 million iPads for Q3 2013 which means less than 30%. When Windows RT was total blunder Android is now dominating tablets with percentage of 60-68%.

    see: Apple may see iPad shipments drop to 10-12 million units in 3Q13

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