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IDC Predicts Global Tablet Shipments to Hit 190 Million Units in 2013 as eReader Market Shrinks
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  • March 13, 2013
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ereaders1The market research firm IDC  has just gotten their magic 8 ball  back from the pawn shop yesterday (the money was used to buy lottery tickets that didn’t win) and they have some new predictions to share today.

According to IDC’s best guesses, in 2013 the global tablet market is expected to top 190.9 million tablets. That’s up from IDC’s last guess, which placed tablet shipments at 172.4 million in 2013. IDC also guesses that Android tablets will make up a larger share of the market in 2013 than they did in 2012:

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 is expected to slip from 51% of the market in 2012 to 46% in 2013.

Windows tablets are expected to only account for a tiny fraction of the global tablet market in 2013 (MS only has so many employees to give them to), but Windows RT and Windows 8 are expected to make up 10% of the tablet market in 2017.

IDC has also made some unsubstantiated predictions about the ereader market. They believe shipments peaked in 2011 at 26.4 million before dropping to 18.2 million units in 2012. IDC expects shipments to increase slightly in 2013 and 2014 before beginning a gradual and permanent decline in 2015.

I won’t comment on the tablet predictions other than to note that IDC’s accuracy rate is so poor that they had to correct themselves, but I do believe the predicted number of ereaders shipped is woefully inaccurate. It does not match up with the info I have on ereader adoption.

Pew reported in January that ereader ownership in the US grew over the holidays to 26% from 19%. Market surveys from other countries indicate that ereader shipments also increased in 2012 and are expected to grow in 2013, so it’s not clear where the drop in ereader shipments came from.

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