Tablet growth slows in third quarter, but still strong
Global tablet computer sales were slower than initially anticipated in the third quarter of 2011, according to research firm IDC, but the market still grew by nearly 25 percent compared to the previous quarter.
Overall, 18.1 million tablets shipped during the third quarter. While this is good for a 264.5 percent increase over the same period last year, it is slightly lower than the 19.2 million units that IDC had originally forecast.
Several factors went into the tablet market's performance during the quarter. Apple's iPad® was once again the top-selling model, but other contenders have also emerged in recent months, which could shake up the market as it currently stands. At the same time, some manufacturers abandoned their tablet plans, finding the market to be too competitive or simply not profitable.
IDC expects tablet sales to pick up in the fourth quarter, as the mobile devices will be among the hottest-selling items for the holiday season.
Going into 2012, the tablet market will continue to see changes across the board. Not only are new players expected to grab bigger portions of the market, the technology itself will evolve, likely becoming more powerful, more intuitive and faster.