IDC: Analysts at IDC predict that manufacturers will ship 7.6 million media tablets this year, growing to 46 million units in 2014. That represents an annual growth rate of 57.4 percent. By comparison PC makers should ship around 398 million portable PCs in 2014.
"These are early days for media tablets, an altogether new device category that takes its place between smartphones and portable PCs. IDC expects consumer demand for media tablets to be strongly driven by the number and variety of compatible third-party apps for content and services," noted IDC's Susan Kevorkian. "The availability of apps unique to media tablets and that differentiate the experience of using one compared with a PC or smartphone will be crucial for driving consumer demand. As the category matures and more media tablet-optimized apps become available, IDC expects that media tablets will evolve beyond nice-to-have devices and become necessities for many consumers."