The low-cost and smaller tablet market is expected to surge this year, largely propelled by manufactures introducing tablets with screens below 8-inches, research firm IDC said Tuesday. The company recently revised its shipment estimates for the year from 172.4 million units to 190.9 million units, due to the popularity of affordable Android tablets with that screen size — such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Nexus 7 and Samsung’s variety of tablets in that screen range.
“One in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size,” IDC research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said. “And in terms of shipments, we expect smaller tablets to continue growing in 2013 and beyond. Vendors are moving quickly to compete in this space as consumers realize that these small devices are often more ideal than larger tablets for their daily consumption habits.”
IDC said that the increase in Android shipments will come at the cost of iOS tablets, including the iPad and iPad mini. The firm expects the company’s tablet market share to slip from 51 percent last year to 46 percent this year.
That’s a considerable move, but we have to remember that Apple is a single brand name and it has a multitude of competitors that are shipping a variety of tablets. All said and done, a 46% market share in the tablet space is incredibly respectable.