IDC: 17 Million Media Tablets Shipped Worldwide in 2010, Forecasts 45 million Units for 2011

Market segment expands by 45 percent in Q3 2010 prodded by shipments of Apple’s iPad. Vendors shipped nearly 5 million units during the period, researcher says. New product introductions, competition, stronger demand and expanded distribution channels will drive growth.

January 25, 2011

D.H. Kass

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The nascent worldwide market for media tablets expanded by some 45 percent to 4.8 million units during the third quarter of 2010, lifted almost exclusively by Apple Computer Inc.’s iPad device, which accounted for almost 90 percent of the period’s shipments, according to data compiled by researcher International Data Corp.

The researcher said that it expects media tablet makers to ship some 17 million units for 2010 when final data is tabulated and predicted the market will explode to about 45 million units in 2011 and 71 million devices in 2012. IDC forecasted that U.S. shipments will account for about 40 percent of the total market in 2011.

Growth worldwide will be driven by new product introductions, strong demand from business customers and consumers, an uptick in price and feature competition, and expanded channels of distribution, IDC said.

In Q1 2011, the market should receive a significant boost from Motorola Corp.’s Xoom and Research In Motion Inc.’s BlackBerry PlayBook, the researcher said.

"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, IDC research director, Mobile Connected Devices.

IDC considers media tablets as devices equipped with color displays between five and 14 inches running condensed operating systems such as Apple’s iOS or Google Inc.’s Android OS with x86 or ARM processors. Media tablets differ from eReaders in that they support connectivity technology and a wide range of applications.

IDC’s data is featured in the debut edition of its Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker.

TAGS: iPad,Apple,IDC,media tablet,Motorola Xoom

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