106 million, up from 0 three years ago
It looks as if the tablet hype has even caught the almighty IDC beancounters by surprise.
The research outfit has upped its 2012 tablet shipment forecast from 88 million to 106 million units. Overall tablet shipments in 2012 are expected to grow by a whopping 54 percent compared to last year’s 69 million units.
Clearly, this is not just a minor adjustment, and it has more to do with recent developments like the success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire. IDC researchers claim they were taken aback by the success of the Kindle Fire, which did steal much market share from other Android tablets, or Apple’s iPad for that matter. They all did quite well and the success of the Kindle Fire apparently came at the expense of Kindle e-book readers.
Apple is expected to maintain its lead 2012, cheap 7-inch tablets from Amazon, Barns & Noble, Google and the rest of the Android gang will also do quite well, but the big question right now is what to expect from Windows 8 towards the end of the year.
Although some believe that tablets will somehow lead to the demise of traditional desktops or notebooks, the PC market is still boasting more than 350 million units strong. However, tablets are clearly not a fad and they are here to stay, unlike netbooks which also saw strong initial growth, only to be all but forgotten a couple of years later.