IDC: Smaller sizes, lower prices send tablet sales soaring

IDC: Smaller sizes, lower prices send tablet sales soaring

Summary: Tablet sales are expected to continue its growth momentum throughout 2013, according to IDC, thanks to Android-based tablets market share growth in 2012.

TOPICS: Tablets

Research firm IDC's latest quarterly tablet tracking report estimates tablet shipments will be upwards of 350 million units by the end of 2017. 

This year alone, the worldwide tablet market is expected to rise significantly, upping the firm's estimates from 172.4 million to 190.9 million, an increase of 11 percent. 

In prepared remarks, IDC tablet tracker research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said: "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."

"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."

Android-based tablets are expected to see an expansion in share this year following rocketing success in 2012. The Google-owned platform is expected to reach a peak of 48.8 percent market share this year, and will see a slight decrease over the next four years by 2017. But the research firm says that Android's gain comes at iOS' expense, which will slip from 51 percent of the 2012 market to 46 percent this year.

Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 10.09.07
(Credit: IDC)

On the other hand, both Android and iOS-based tablets will relinquish some market share to Windows-based tablets — including Windows 7 and Windows 8 — with an expected increase from its 1 percent share in 2012 to 7.4 percent in 2017. However, bad news for Windows RT fans as IDC believes its growth will remain below 3 percent during the four-year period.

IDC tablets research director Tom Mainelli explained: "Microsoft's decision to push two different tablet operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows RT, has yielded poor results in the market so far."

He noted that consumers are failing to buy into Windows RT's value proposition. "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."

Topic: Tablets

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  • That is optimistic for Android.

    It is interesting that Android tablet usage (StatCounter and Net Market Share) shows Android Tablet usage is actually declining after a healthy Christmas spike. Win8 usage is actually accelerating a small bit and the iPad has had similar growth in Jan, Feb and the first part of March as it had in Dec.

    Android tablets, on the other hand, have declined in usage over the last 6 weeks and by the end of the month looks like they will be at Nov 2012 levels. That is less usage now than the month before Chistmas.

    1) Win8 adoption looks to be accelerating a bit.

    2) iPad sales and usage seem to be holding at Dec levels.

    3) Android tablets are being shelved and few new units are entering end users hands.
    • You mean "web usage"

      It's not the same thing.
  • IDC has been Wrong Before!

    They are a little better than the Weatherman at predicting our weather!

    First off I doubt they even have the ability to adequately gather all the appropriate numbers. Many of which now are increasingly bought off foreign websites these days on places like Ebay, Amazon, Alibaba, Tmall and other foreign markets. IDC never sees or collects duty from purchases from Hong Kong, China or Indian sellers or their American buyers. Buy any tablet off ebay shipped into this country from Hong Kong for instance and it arrives listed as an undervalued toy or trinket w/o any Duty collected. IDC only deals with large shipments!

    So maybe best to take your own survey of your friends and you'd probably arrive at a more accurate estimate of future sales than them!

    Windows 8 RT and Windows 8 standard are both so bloated they take up far too much space on smaller Solid State Drives. If they were able to reduce the bloat and also as the price of memory comes down along with increasing sizes, it's future could change a whole lot.

    But..... now even Linux (which has been known to have bloated installs on PC's) has went on a diet and now can be a third the size these days on PC's alone. I've got two Windows 8 Installs and both are well over 30gigs on operating system files alone. Even Windows NT leaves little room for your own files on a 32gig drive capacity. So really, what good is that and that probably the biggest reason people are opting for Android and iOS Tablets. Keep in mind Ubuntu on tablets has a great GUI and Touchscreen framework (same framework on Android in it's Linux kernel as in Ubuntu. Also now has the same Secure Enhanced Linux kernel that runs most of the top 100 Super Computers and IBM's Watson in Jelly Bean).

    In fact IDC blew their last estimates for 2012 and Android blew the doors off iOS tablets even in this country. So it appears even IDC are still lost in Apple's declining Bull Market lately and not willing to face the reality. That includes these facts:
    1. US DOD recently announced both Android and iOS would be put on the list of possible GSA purchases with Windows and Blackberry. But... what we didn't hear so much about, is only Android mobile devices have been being purchased along with Security Approved Blackberry devices the last few years. Why? .....NSA went to both Apple (iOS) and Microsoft to get source code released so they could Security Enhance/Harden their OS kernels and was refused. So NSA completed Secure Enhanced Android Linux Kernel last year. It's now in Jelly Bean Android and is considered more secure than Blackberry OS (even latest v10).

    Now DOD Pentagon have already purchased scores of Samsung Galaxy and Motorola devices for Trials in their Nett Warrior program. That could result in Millions of Android devices purchased (including Tablets) for soldiers in the field. They also already have their Linux run Global Network set up to Securely Hypertunnel via any common carrier on the planet using contracted services from Google. Along with their own Android App Store in Beta! .......if that doesn't finish taking the wind out of Apple's future closed proprietary iOS devices sales, then I don't know if IDC will ever come down to earth either!!!
    • Re: Many of which now are increasingly bought off foreign websites these da

      Those would be predominantly Android.
  • Re: "One in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in s"

    Bad news for Apple, which doesn't have a sub-8-incher.
  • windows

    I think its stupid to talk about windows rt/8 in two different categoties, especially since in 2017 we'll probably have windows 9 (and we dont know if they'll have 2 seperate versions)

    I also believe that experts always underestimate the drop of apple's marketshare. The same thing happened with the iphone. My guess is both windows and android will be at 5% more than predicted.