Research company IDC has increased its forecast for the worldwide media tablet market following record sales figures and high expectations for the rest of this year. The company has increased its predicted 2012 total from 107.4 million units to 117.1 million units shipped.
Next year’s forecast has also been revised upward from 142.8 million units to 165.9 million units, while worldwide tablet shipments in 2016 are expected to reach 261.4 million units.
Tom Mainelli, research director for Mobile Connected Devices at IDC, said “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. Apple 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- and Windows-based products shipping in the coming months will give consumers plenty of buying options during the holiday season.”
Apple’s iOS-powered iPad will continue to dominate tablet sales: its share is expected to grow from 57.2% last year to 60% in 2012 before slipping back to 58% by 2016. Meanwhile Android will slip from 38.9% in 2011 to 35.3% this year and then to 30.5% by 2016. Windows-based tablets are expected to take 4% of the market in 2012, rising to 11% by 2016.
However, although IDC has increased its forecast for tablets in 2012, it’s also lowered its forecast for eBook readers. Shipments this year are now expected to reach 23.6 million units.