LONDON – The tablet computer market in 2010 was nearly 17 million units and this is set to grow to 44.6 million units in 2011, according to market research company International Data Corporation (IDC). In 2012, IDC forecasts worldwide shipments of 70.8 million units. Growth in 2011 and beyond will be driven by device vendors introducing media tablets based on Android and other operating systems, as well as price and feature competition and strong demand in both the consumer and commercial segments.
For the e-reader market, IDC reckons 2010 closed at 10.8 million units shipped worldwide, with the U.S. representing 72.4% of global shipments. IDC forecasts 14.7 million units to ship in 2011 and 16.6 million in 2012, with demand driven by price competition among e-paper device vendors, the introduction of color display e-readers, and the expansion of digital book and periodical content offerings across genres and languages.
Vendors shipped 4.8 million tablet computers in 3Q10, compared to 3.3 million units in the second quarter of 2010 and Apple's iPad represented nearly 90 percent of the market. The third quarter of 2010 saw global e-reader shipments increase to 2.7 million units representing 40 percent growth over 2Q10, with the U.S. representing nearly three-quarters of the worldwide e-reader market.
"The media tablet market's rapid evolution will continue to accelerate in 4Q10 and beyond with new product and service introductions, channel expansion, price competition and experimentation with new use cases among consumers and enterprises," said Susan Kevorkian, research director for mobile connected devices at IDC, in a statement.
In the tablet market the definitive leader is Apple with an 87.4 percent market share in 3Q10, according to IDC. In 4Q10 Samsung introduced the Android-based Galaxy Tab and in 1Q11 Motorola introduced the Xoom and Research in Motion the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Amazon is the market leader in e-readers with more than 1.1 million units shipped and 41.5 percent share worldwide, 3Q10, according to IDC. Other players include: Pandigital, Barnes & Noble, Sony and China's Hanvon.