Windows 8 will help boost overall sales of tablets by nearly 10 million this year over estimates made just three months ago, but Android and Apple products will be the main driver behind the increase, according to IDC.
The raw numbers are 107.4 million in 2012 sales predicted in June vs. 117.1 million in a new forecast this week from the research firm.
Apple is the leader and will retain that position with about 60% of the market, but Windows tablets will jump from just 1% last to 4% this year, according to IDC research director for mobile connected devices Tom Mainelli.
Noise about the launch of Windows 8 will add momentum to tablet sales in the fourth quarter, IDC says. "However, we expect [Windows 8] shipments to remain low in the fourth quarter as high prices and consumer confusion around these devices will limit their appeal," says Jennifer Song, research analyst for IDC's Worldwide Trackers.
But popularity of the Windows devices, including the Surface PC/tablets, will continue to grow, earning Microsoft 11% of the market in 2016, pulling share from both Android and Apple devices, IDC says.
Customers keep buying up tablets despite a slow economy and the expectation is that demand will take a jump during the holiday buying season, Mainelli says. New low-priced tablets Nexus 7 from Google and Kindle Fire from Amazon will also boost sales, IDC says.
Windows devices have become enough of a factor in the world of tablets that IDC now tracks its sales separately in its Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker report.
Intel Windows 8 love fest?
Intel is showcasing new Intel-based tablets and convertibles from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and ZTE next week in an event many are interpreting as a display of new Windows 8 hardware.
Intel said is that it will hold a press event at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art at which partners will show off their devices and tell more about its low-power Atom processor, the one they used to call Clover Trail and that is designed for tablets and phones.
That's not to say the portables on display aren't meant to run Windows 8, it's just that the vendors aren't describing them like that. And there are quite a few: three from Acer, three from Asus, two from Dell, three from HP, one from Lenovo, two from Samsung and one from ZTE.
Launch party Houston
When Windows 8 officially launces Oct. 25 at a big event in New York City, those in Houston will have their own regional festivities at the local Microsoft facility.
It's open to local business owners and IT directors and features demos of the new operating system as well as Windows Server 2012 and Lync 2013. It's sponsored by IT consultants Techcess Group.
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