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IDC Predicts iOS Tablet Market Share to Grow at Android's Expense

Apple's iOS OS will continue to dominate the tablet market, even managing to increase its market share to to 62.5% in 2012, from 58.2% in 2011, according to research firm IDC.

As per IDC, Android's share will drop from 38.7% in 2011 to 36.5% in 2012, while Blackberry will slip from having a1.7% share of the market in 2011 to 1% in 2012.

Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices at IDC said, "After a very strong launch of new products in March, Apple's iPad shows few signs of slowing down."

Mainelli stated that one of the reasons for Apple's success in the tablet arena was its ability to lure existing customers to purchase it's third generation devices, by adding new features such as Retina Display and 4G capabilities. "

"Apple's decision to keep two iPad 2s in the market at lower prices--moving the entry-level price down to $399--seems to be paying off as well," he added. "If Apple launches a sub-$300, 7-inch product into the market later this year as rumored, we expect the company's grip on this market to become even stronger." he added.

Given the increasing consumer demand for tablets in the second half of 2012, right through 2016, IDC has forecast that the worldwide tablet market will touch 107.4 million units for the year, up from 106.1 million units that IDC had previously forecast.

Similarly, IDC also increased it's forecast for the tablet market in 2013, from 137.4 million units, to 142.8 million units. In 2016, IDC forecasts that worldwide shipments of tablets should reach 222.1 million units.

"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", Mainelli said.As neither Windows 8 nor Windows RT tablets are included in the current IDC tablet forecasts, it was stated that starting next quarter, IDC is expected to include all tablets, regardless of OS or processor type, into it's Media Tablet Tracker.

Mainelli stated that adding Windows based tablets would provide a more comprehensive view of the tablet market. But he also mentioned that "based upon early pricing expectations for these products, our current thinking is that Windows-based tablets will be largely additive to our existing media tablet market forecast. We don't expect Windows-based tablets to necessarily take share from Apple and Android, but will grow the overall tablet market."

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