Android based tablets are forecasted to overtake Apple tablets in sales in 2013, according to a press release from IDC. Based on a predicted increase in the phablet/smaller devices market, which is expected to increase to 190.9 million units purchased as opposed to 172.4 million units in 2012. A 11% increase in this market is expected to occur between 2013 to 2016. By 2017, tablet shipments are expected to reach around 350 million units.
“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” said 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.”
Android’s share of the tablet market expanded by bounds in 2012, and is expected to reach a peak of 48.8% in 2013. Apple is obviously the loser in this situation, with its iOS devices expected to slip from 51% of the market in 2012 to 46% in 2013.Windows is expected to obtain a piece of the market as well, with Microsoft forecasted to increase its market penetration from 1% in 2012 to 7% in 2017.
“Microsoft’s decision to push two different tablet operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows RT, has yielded poor results in the market so far,” said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets. “Consumers aren’t buying Windows RT’s value proposition, and 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.”
IDC also notes that the e-reader market is quickly becoming obsolete, with the increased popularity of tablets that provide e-reader functionality as well as other features. IDC is expecting e-reader shipments to steadily decline over the next few years, with it petering out at a more steady rate in 2015.