The iPad’s share of the tablet market will grow in 2012, analysts forecast, killing off the recent, but somewhat tardy, challenge from its Android-powered rivals.
Despite weak sales for the initial crop of Android tablets, things seemed to be looking up of late for the platform with the smartphone-tablet hybrid that is the Samsung Galaxy Note.
The halfway-house device, which qualifies as a tablet by dint of having a screen over five inches (the definition of a slate seemingly now universally accepted by industry sages), is estimated to have sold seven million units, despite its slow start.
According to research firm IDC, however, the Note-inspired boost to Android tablets’ fortunes will be short-lived, with the iPad set to boost its market share to 62 per cent next year.
IDC also predicts that the tablet market in general will be in robust health for the next six months, with sales set to hit 107.4 million worldwide. That compares to just 69.6 million for last year.
Tom Mainelli, research director of the Mobile Device Connection division at IDC, said: “Demand for media tablets remains robust, and we see an increasing interest in the category from the commercial side.
“We expect pending new products from major players, increasingly affordable mainstream devices, and a huge marketing blitz from Microsoft around Windows 8 to drive increased consumer interest in the category through the end of the year."
Refreshed in March, the latest iPad was excoriated by some tech watchers on the grounds that it was little more than an iterative update. That the criticism hasn’t been heeded by the wider public, though, is pretty apparent from IDC’s projection.