The tablet market may already be hot, but it’s about to get surface-of-the-sun-hot. IDC released a new report on Wednesday in which it said “surging Android tablet shipments” and a big demand for the iPad mini will push the global tablet market to 122.3 million units shipped in 2012. The research firm originally expected shipments of 117.1 millon units.
The growth isn’t expected to slow down soon, either, at least not in the next several years. IDC expects 172.4 million tablets to ship in 2013 and 282.7 million units by 2016. Those figures are without even knowing what sort of capabilities and new tablets will be available four years down the road.
“Tablets continue to captivate consumers, and as the market shifts toward smaller, more mobile screen sizes and lower prices points, we expect demand to accelerate in the fourth quarter and beyond,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets at IDC. “Android tablets are gaining traction in the market thanks to solid products from Google, Amazon, Samsung, and others. And Apple’s November iPad mini launch, along with its surprise refresh of the full-sized iPad, positions the company well for a strong holiday season.”
IDC also provided a look at the global tablet OS market share. iOS currently has a 53.8% share, followed by Android at 42.7%. Windows will eat into the iOS and Android market share by 2016, IDC predicts. It believes Apple’s grip on the market will fall slightly to 49.7% and Android’s share will tip down to 39.7%. Meanwhile, Windows is expected to bump from a tiny 2.9% share this year to a 10.3% grip in 2016