Market researchers from IDC have increased their forecasts for 2012 tablet sales and now believe that manufacturers will ship 122.3 million units for the year. They believe that rising sales should continue over the next few years as consumers choose to do more of their computing on tablets instead of traditional desktop and laptop PCs.
TechCrunch's Sara Perez reported, "Analysts at IDC have today upped their tablet forecast for 2102 and onward, now predicting 122.3 million units for 2012, up from the firm’s previous forecast of 117.1 million units. In addition, IDC raised its forecast for shipments in 2013 to 172.4 million units, up from 165.9 million units before. According to IDC’s tablets research director, Tom Mainelli, the changes have to do with the increased traction from Android tablets, and expected strong holiday sales for Apple due to the iPad mini and its refreshed full-size iPad."
Bloomberg BusinessWeek's Lisa Rapaport added, "Global tablet sales, led by Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPad, will more than double to 282.7 million units in four years as consumers increasingly shun personal-computers in favor of smaller handheld devices, according to IDC. Robust sales of the iPad, as well as new entrants powered by software from Google Inc. (GOOG) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), prompted IDC to boost its 2016 tablet forecast 8.1 percent from a prior projection of 261.4 million, the Framingham, Massachusetts-based researcher said in a statement."
Nathan Eddy from eWeek noted, "As the tablet market continues to pick up steam, competing operating systems highlight a changing landscape, with Android continuing to pick up market share at the expense of Apple. Android is forecast to account for 42.7 percent of the tablet market for the full year of 2012, up from 39.8 percent in 2011, while Apple's share will slip from 56.3 percent in 2011 to 53.8 percent in 2012. Microsoft is expected to slowly take share away from Android and Apple devices, reaching 10.2 percent market share by 2016, IDC forecast."
While the tablet market as a whole seems to be flourishing, the same can't be said for Microsoft's Surface tablet. CNET's Brooke Crothers reported that analysts expect fairly weak sales for the device. Crothers wrote, "Microsoft's Surface RT tablet is expected to see sales of more than a million units in the fourth quarter, IHS iSuppli told CNET today." He added, "But other analyst estimates that came out today for Surface RT sales put the number below 1 million. A Boston-based brokerage firm, Detwiler Fenton, claimed in a research note today that Microsoft is likely to sell less than a million units in the December quarter."