IDC Says 17 Million Tablets Shipped Worldwide in 2010

By Ashok Bindra January 20, 2011

With tablet popularity on the rise, market research firm International Data Corp., estimates that nearly 17 million units were sold worldwide in 2010. This year, the market watcher forecasts 44.6 million will ship globally, with the U.S. representing nearly 40 percent of the total.

In 2012, IDC predicts worldwide shipments to grow to 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, according to IDC.

For the e-reader market, IDC anticipates 2010 to close at 10.8 million units shipped worldwide, with the U.S. representing 72.4 percent of global shipments. The market research firm projects 14.7 million units to ship in 2011 and 16.6 million in 2012, with demand driven by price competition among e-paper-based device vendors, the introduction of color display e-readers, and the expansion of digital book and periodical content offerings across genres and languages.

According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker, vendors shipped 4.8 million units globally in third quarter of 2010, compared to 3.3 million units in the second quarter of 2010. And Apple's iPad represented nearly 90 percent of the media tablets shipped worldwide in 3Q10. The worldwide media tablet market grew 45.1 percent in 3Q10, driven almost exclusively by global demand for Apple's groundbreaking iPad

The growing popularity of tablets among consumers worldwide is evidenced not only by adoption of media tablets, but also of e-readers. The third quarter of 2010 saw global e-reader shipments increase to 2.7 million units representing 40 percent growth over 2Q 2010, with the U.S. representing nearly three-quarters of the worldwide e-reader market, says IDC report.

The IDC study shows that Apple led the worldwide media tablet market in shipments and set the standard for technology innovation in 2010, with nearly 4.2 million units shipped in 3Q10 and an 87.4 percent market share worldwide. In 3Q 2010, a handful of tier 2 and tier 3 vendors shipped media tablets based primarily on Android 2.1 and 2.2.While in 4Q 2010, Samsung's introduction of the Galaxy Tab brought the first tier 1 device vendor to the Android media tablet market, as per IDC report.

On the e-reader front, Amazon was the market leader for the quarter with more than 1.1 million units shipped and 41.5 percent share worldwide.

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Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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