IDC: 107 million tablets to ship in 2012
Research firm IDC has raised its tablet computer forecast for the year, estimating the global market will ship 107.4 million units, up from a previous prediction of 106.1 million units.
Apple's iPad® is expected to hold its lead in the market by a significant margin. According to IDC, Apple® will account for 62.5 percent of the tablet market in 2012, while Google's Android™ will represent 36.5 percent. These market shares are expected to stay consistent for the foreseeable future.
However, while market shares will not fluctuate greatly, IDC does predict tablet shipments will continue to grow. In 2016, the research firm expects 222.1 million tablets to ship worldwide.
Though Microsoft's tablet-friendly Windows® 8 will be available by the end of the year, IDC does not include the operating system in its forecast. The research firm does note that it expects a "huge marketing blitz" to work in Microsoft's favor, driving consumer interest through the year's end.
Beyond that, experts have mixed feelings about Windows 8. Some believe the operating system will be well received, especially among enterprise users. However, others say Microsoft® waited too long and will have a hard time in the tablet arena.