Market researcher International Data Corp (IDC) has revised upward its global tablet computer shipment forecast for this year following the release of Amazon’s Kindle Fire in the fourth quarter, and predicted that Google Inc’s Android operating system would take more market share from Apple Inc’s iOS.
In a report last week, IDC increased its worldwide shipment forecast to 63.3 million units, up from its previous projection of 62.5 million units. However, global tablet shipments in the third quarter were 18.1 million units, slightly lower than IDC’s forecast of 19.2 million units.
Apple, the maker of iPhones and iPads, shipped 9.3 million tablet PCs in the third quarter, but its market share fell from 63.3 percent in the second quarter to 61.5 percent.
Samsung Electronics Co, Hewlett-Packard Co, Barnes & Noble Inc and Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) ranked second, third, fourth and fifth, with market shares of 5.6 percent, 5 percent, 4.5 percent and 4 percent respectively.
“Amazon and Barnes & Noble are shaking up the tablet market and their success helps prove that there is an appetite for tablets beyond Apple’s iPad,” said Tom Mainelli, research director of mobile connected devices at IDC.
Android, whose share dropped from 33.2 percent in the previous quarter to 32.4 percent in the third quarter, is expected to show a dramatic gain by jumping to a market share of 40.3 percent in the fourth quarter, IDC said.
That increase would mainly be attributable to the arrival of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which was launched in September at a price of US$199 and to a lesser extent Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet, IDC said.
In addition, the improving Android OS experience and lower competitor pricing at a time of worldwide economic concerns should also help Android increase its market share, IDC said.
Asustek, which released its Android-powered Eee Pad Transformer tablet in April, sold 800,000 tablet PCs in the third quarter. The company predicted sales of between 600,000 and 800,000 units for the fourth quarter.
After rolling out its second-generation tablet “Transformer Prime” earlier this month, Asustek said it expected to ship 3 million to 6 million tablets next year, up from 1.8 million this year.