IDC: Android to pass Apple in tablet market share this year

“A predicted surge of smaller, lower-priced devices in the tablet market has led International Data Corporation (IDC) to increase its 2013 forecast for the worldwide tablet market to 190.9 million, up from its previous forecast of 172.4 million units. Increases in tablet shipments have been made throughout the forecast period with an average increase of 11% between 2013 and 2016. The latest forecast update of the Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker estimates tablet shipments to be upwards of 350 million by the end of 2017.

“One in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size. And in terms of shipments, we expect smaller tablets to continue growing in 2013 and beyond,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst for IDC’s Tablet Tracker, in a statement. “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.”

Android-based tablets expanded their share of the market notably in 2012, and IDC expects that trend to continue in 2013. Android’s share of the market is forecast to reach a peak of 48.8% in 2013 compared to 41.5% in IDC’s previous forecast. Android’s gains come at the expense of Apple’s iOS, which IDC predicts to slip from 51% of the market in 2012 to 46% in 2013. Longer term, according to IDC, both iOS and Android will eventually relinquish some market share to Windows-based tablets, with Windows 8 predicted to grow from 1% of the market in 2012 to 7.4% in 2017. IDC expects Windows RT growth to remain below 3% during the forecast period.

“Microsoft’s decision to push two different tablet operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows RT, has yielded poor results in the market so far,” said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets, in a statement. “Consumers aren’t buying Windows RT’s value proposition, and long term we think Microsoft and its partners would be better served by focusing their attention on improving Windows 8. Such a focus could drive better share growth in the tablet category down the road.”

While IDC continues to revise its tablet forecast upward, the firm had done the opposite with the eReader forecast. The growth of low-cost tablets is clearly damaging the prospects of the single-use eReader, and IDC reduced its forecast for the category by an average of 14% between 2013 and 2016. IDC believes eReader shipments peaked in 2011 at 26.4 million units. After declining to 18.2 million units in 2012, the category is expected to grow only modestly in 2013 and 2014, before it begins a gradual and permanent decline beginning in 2015.

Tablet Operating Systems, Forecast Market Share and CAGR 2012-2017
IDC: Tablet Operating Systems, Forecast Market Share and CAGR 2012-2017
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, March 2013
Table Notes: Windows shipments include Windows 8 and Windows 7 tablets. Shipments include shipments to distribution channels or end users. OEM sales are counted under the vendor/brand under which they are sold.

Source: International Data Corporation (IDC)

MacDailyNews Take: Once again, if IDC’s prediction is correct, as we wrote last November:

Android can have the Hee Haw demographic. Apple doesn’t want it or need it; it’s far more trouble than it’s worth.

Related articles:
Apple’s iPad dominates tablets with 81% Web usage share; Amazon Kindle Fire distant 2nd with 7.7% – February 6, 2013
Apple iPad dominates U.S. and Canadian tablet Web traffic with 87% share in December – December 27, 2012
Eight reasons why Apple’s iPad will continue to dominate the tablet market – November 30, 2012

iPhone users watch twice as much online video as those with Android phones – March 12, 2013
Where are the Android users? – March 11, 2013
With 78% share, Apple’s iOS tightening its grip on the enterprise and taking share from Android – March 8, 2013
Apple rules the skies with 84% in-flight share vs. Android’s 16% – March 7, 2013
Apple iPad continues domination with over 80% usage share in U.S. and Canada – March 7, 2013
comScore: Google’s Android, Samsung continue to lose U.S. share to Apple’s iOS, iPhone – March 6, 2013
Apple iOS dominates mobile video viewing with 60% share vs. Android’s 32% – February 13, 2013
Android’s Web share down 13% since November; Apple’s iOS now over 60% – February 1, 2013
Android’s unit share growth has not hurt Apple’s profit share – February 26, 2013
Apple iOS dominates mobile video viewing with 60% share vs. Android’s 32% – February 13, 2013
Android’s Web share down 13% since November; Apple’s iOS now over 60% – February 1, 2013
IDC: Apple dominates worldwide tablet market with 43.6% unit share – January 31, 2013
The Android engagement paradox – November 26, 2012
People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
Study: iPhone users vastly outspent Android users on apps, respond much better to ads – August 20, 2012


  1. That’s nutty. Amazon and Samesung don’t even report their numbers, so this is all conjecture. Even there are real numbers out there, they are shipments to resellers, not actual sales, so why does that count the same as Apple?

    And, are these projections taking into account Apple growth now that the iPad mini is out? What if Apple releases new iPads this year?

    1. I BOUGHT A HIPSTREET tablet the other day because the store did not have a demo. The return policy is excellent so I took the opportunity to see how well this device works.

      – ITS BLOODY slow.
      – HANGS far too often.
      – The screen is SLIGHTLY BLURRY.
      – Yes its ICE CREAM SANDWICH but it still sucks.
      – Totally hate the launch screen – so redundant.
      by having both access to all apps and your favourites pages.
      – Folders is a weak copy of Apples implementation.
      – Too much noise as if there is a hard drive inside and fan.
      – Tested over 200 apps from the Google store – all inferior crap. Poor interface design. Hacked programming. Bloated rip off apps.
      – better if it had a dual core or quad core processor – but then no way the price point would be 1/4 of Apples


      Be CAUTIOUS people – and SAVE your MONEY – these cheap tablets SUCK THE BIG FAT – OH DAMN WHY DID I BUY THIS – feeling – Truly not worth it.

      The Fact that SAMSUNG sells its TOP phone at the same PRICE of APPLES has its REASONS… the FACT that these cheap devices don’t have QUAD processors tells you it can not compete even at an EQUAL to APPLE. Don’t be fooled. Android is SH_T. You will not need customization and openness to a platform that is still in chaos of development. The level of customization is weak nevertheless. better without it.


      ANDROID taking over iOS… thats totally laughable… AndyBotOS is CRAPWARE – be smart shoppers don’t buy Android.

      iPad and iPad mini are far more Superior and far easier to use with longer product life – plus millions of quality apps.

  2. Basically in the US where I live anyway it has been something like this with tablets that I’ve seen. In the under $300 market, it’s 100% Android/Windows/Other. And in the over $300 market, it’s been 95% iPad and 5% Android/Windows/Other. Are they really selling that many under $300 tablets elsewhere to be able to claim 48% overall market share? Because I certainly don’t see that at all with my own two eyes out in the real world. It’s rare that I ever see anything other than an iPad actually. The occasional Kindle is really just about it.

    1. people want bigger phones so they don’t have to buy a tablet. They have a crappy form factor for a phone and a crappy form factor for a tablet. But it’s cheaper, and cheap wins with the majority.

  3. So, how comes i don’t see any Android tablets in the real world? The only ones I see are still on store shelves or being advertised on newsprint ads next to toasters.

  4. “IDC believes eReader shipments peaked in 2011 at 26.4 million units. After declining to 18.2 million units in 2012 …”

    So, what happened in 2011 and 2012 that caused e-readers to decline? Could that be iPads with “Retina Displays” and then iPad mini devices? Again, where is the late 2012 and this years data? Still don’t want to talk about TODAY’S REAL WORLD DATA? Will it not fit the image you are trying to paint?

    1. Yes, but that isn’t the story they are trying to get the readers to believe. They also have no recent data with the iPad mini in it either. The bar charts are also not to scale. They are messing with your mind to make you thing their hopes and fantasy is a reality.

  5. Is anyone else looking at the size of the colors in the chart? .6% looks like 25% and .4% looks like 15% in 2011 and 2012. That is just funny. These idiots think that they can hustle people that are just looking at the pretty charts. Is anything real about the data they are pushing?

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