Even with the pre-order limit for the iPad 3 being exhausted in record time, it is not surprising the sheer number of people interested in purchasing Apple’s new tablet. Amidst all this hype surrounding the release of the new tablet, IDC (a popular research firm) claims that by 2015 less popular and lower priced Android tablets will have a greater share than Apple in the tablet market. IDC said that it is basing these claims on similar trends in the smartphone market, where Android phones are on par with iPhone at least in terms of market share. IDC believes that a similar trend will be seen in the tablet market as well, in a span of 3-4 years.
IDC estimated the total number of tablets sold last quarter at 28.2 million units which was an increase of 155% from the same quarter in the previous year. The year on year sales for 2011 were estimated at 68.7 million units by the IDC. This unexpected growth prompted IDC to correct its forecast for the next year from 87.7 million units to 106.1 million units.
4Q11 saw the entry of Amazon’s Kindle Fire which shipped more than 4.7 million units worldwide. However, Apple’s iPad 2 remained the market leader, shipping a little more than 15 million units. Despite this remarkable achievement, Apple’s share in the market dropped from 61.5% in 3Q11 to 54.7% in the last quarter. Amazon’s Kindle Fire gave the company a share of 16.8%, which is still well behind’s Apple’s share. Following Amazon in the rankings was Samsung with a marginal increase from its share in 3Q11. Clearly, Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire Tablet helped in raising awareness about tablets as gadgets and thus contributed in increasing the sales of tablets as a whole.
Whether it is the Apple iPad at $499 or the $99 Android slates, all benefited from the awareness created by Kindle Fire. IDC experts claim that Android slates will continue to prosper, courtesy of the Apple’s depreciating market share. Under a single brand name, IDC experts speculate that Apple tablets will always remain at the number one spot. However, if the Android slates of various companies clubbed together, slates powered by Google’s OS are expected to surpass Apple’s iPad by the fall of 2015.
The new iPad has received a record number of pre orders. Whether IDC’s prediction turns out to be true remains to be seen.