Tablets to hit 117.1 million units in 2012, 165.9 million in 2013

Tablets to hit 117.1 million units in 2012, 165.9 million in 2013

Summary: Apple's iPad will remain the top tablet through 2016, but Windows devices will take some share---mostly from Android, says IDC.


A strong fourth quarter for the tablet market will translate into 117.1 million units for 2012, according to IDC. That projection was raised from IDC's previous forecast of 107.4 million.

And in 2013, the tablet market is expected to hit 165.9 million units, up from IDC's previous forecast of 142.8 million.

The increased projections highlight the post-PC era, which has cast doubt on the strength of a Windows 8 upgrade cycle as well as resulted in third quarter warnings from the likes of Intel and AMD.

IDC also said that the tablet market will hit 261.4 million units in 2016.

The driver of these tablet sales remains Apple's iPad, but IDC projected that new Android and Windows 8 tablets will carve out niches. Among the notable points:

  • IDC expects Windows tablets---Windows 7 slates today, Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets---to grow from 1 percent of the market in 2011 to 4 percent in 2012. By 2016, Windows tablets will have 11 percent of the market.
  • iOS tablets will have market share of 60 percent in 2012, but slip to 11 percent in 2016.
  • Android tablets will have market share 35.3 percent of the market in 2012 and fall to 30.5 percent by 2016.
  • Tablet strength is likely to come at the expense of e-readers. IDC lowered its e-reader forecast to 23.6 million units in 2012, down from 27.7 million units in 2011.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, iPad, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Is it same guy who forecasted win7 wins over iOS till 2016 ?

    Give me a break - first we shall see:
    How good/affordable windows tablets wil be. Can't see them winning with $200 Nexus7.
  • The chart doesn't match the text

    "iOS tablets will have market share of 60 percent in 2012, but slip to 11 percent in 2016."

    The charts shows something north of 50%
    • Still crazy after all those years

      On Businesswire, the article says, "During those same years iOS will grow from 57.2% in 2011 to 60% in 2012, eventually slipping back to 58% by 2016."
      Robert Hahn
  • IDC Need To Go Talk To IHS ISuppli

    See Rachel King's previous report that the fastest-growing tablet segment is going to be the 7-inchers.

    I think the problem is IDC is using old sales data, from before the release of the Asus/Google Nexus 7 kicked off the market for smaller tablets. They're still paying too much attention to Microsoft's outdated forecasts. 11% for Windows? In your dreams!
  • I don't think so

    I think tablet sales will eventually plateau long before 2016. Ownership of a tablets isn't as important or essential to the wider community as the media makes it out to be. As smartphones with bigger screens filter down into the affordable variety, many consumers around the world will begin to feel that a tablet purchase for mobile use is unnecessary.
  • Notable points - numbers don't add up

    My math skills are questionable, but your numbers for 2016 add up to only 52%. What happened to the other 48?
    • That was my point also

      Text shows iOS at about 11% but the chart indicates around 60%. Not a trivial difference.
  • Predictions in the tech arena are a dime a dozen, so, here's my quota...

    By 2016, Android tablets will have faded towards 5% or less.

    Apple tablets will have faded to less than 10%, which is the traditional number for Apple market share in the computing field.

    Microsoft will have climbed from near zero to over 50% of the overall tablet market.

    By 2016, we'll still have thousands of tech bloggers still talking up the "post-PC" era, hoping to still make it happen, while the reality will have been that, PCs will still rule, and smartphones will have made tablets redundant and unnecessary. The tablets of the future will have grown up to become netbooks and the smallest form factor for PCs.

    Now, I dare anyone to prove me wrong.
    • I predict...

      In 2016 the market share breakdown will look like this - almost guaranteed:

      - Microsoft will have 28%
      - Android will have 39%
      - Apple will have 56%
      - Other will have 2%

      The remaining 42% will be used as fertilizer for coconut farms in Alaska.
  • Laughable

    I wonder what IDC is basing these huge increases in purchases on. Come back to this in 2016 and IDC should have egg on their "face".

    I can predict Windows 8 sales won't be great but we all know this because of it's reception in the industry.