Tablet Sales 25 percent of Total 'PC' Sales in 2012, Perhaps 42 percent by 2016

By Gary Kim April 10, 2012

Worldwide media tablet sales to end users are forecast to total 118.9 million units in 2012, a 98 percent increase from 2011 sales of 60 million units, according to researchers at Gartner.

Apple's iOS continues to be the dominant media tablet operating system, as it is projected to account for 61.4 percent of worldwide media tablet sales in 2012, with Android-powered units representing about 32 percent of sales, accordinf to Gartner. By 2016, some 369 million tablets will be sold, the source predicts.

In contrast, IDC predicts PC shipments will climb from 353.3 million to more than 500 million in 2016. The bulk of the growth, however, will come from "emerging markets", not "mature markets", and from portable PCs rather than desktops, IDC forecasts.

In fact, IDC predicts that shipments of portable PCs in "emerging markets" will almost double from 110.0 million in 2011 to 214.7 million in 2016.

One might therefore infer tablets will represent about 25 percent of “PC” sales in 2012. By 2016, tablets could represent 42 percent of “PC” sales.

"Despite PC vendors and phone manufacturers wanting a piece of the pie and launching themselves into the media tablet market, so far, we have seen very limited success outside of Apple with its iPad," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

"As vendors struggled to compete on price and differentiate enough on either the hardware or ecosystem, inventories were built and only 60 million units actually reached the hands of consumers across the world. The situation has not improved in early 2012, when the arrival of the new iPad has reset the benchmark for the product to beat."

Edited by Braden Becker

Contributing Editor

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