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IDC: Kindle Fire cut iPad to 55% share, 2012 ahead of goals

updated 02:35 pm EDT, Tue March 13, 2012

IDC optimistic on tablets, Android's chances

IDC on Tuesday gave its own breakdown of world tablet share from this fall and painted an optimistic look at Android's position in the market. Going higher than others' estimates, the research team believed that Amazon shipped 4.7 million Kindle Fires, or enough to stake out 16.8 percent of tablets worldwide. Along with a slight gain from Samsung to 5.8 percent, the prediction would have knocked Apple down from 61.5 percent last summer to 54.7 percent in the last few months of 2011.

Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet wasn't enough to stop a full point decline to 3.5 percent, while Pandigital's ultra-budget color e-readers and tablets also dropped to 2.5 percent. It's implied that every other tablet maker, including one-time major competitors like HTC, LG, Motorola, and RIM, had less share.

The Kindle Fire, along with strong iPad sales, led to IDC seeing a rising-tide effect, where at least the Kindle Fire was increasing awareness of tablets and growing the entire market, even for higher-end, full-featured tablets.

Accordingly, the analysts boosted their 2012 forecast by a full 20 percent to 106.1 million shipped the whole year. They eventually expected Android to overtake iOS in tablets in 2015, although this would be a much slower rate than for smartphones, where it took three years for Google to gain hold.

Whether or not Android will reach the goal isn't apparent. The prediction makes a number of assumptions, including that the Kindle Fire's only
quarter on the market is a predictor of long-term success and that the new iPad won't have had any disproportionate effect on sales. The data so far points to every Android tablet designer outside of Amazon and Samsung being on the decline, and thus any success for Android riding on whether or not their lineups lure buyers. A conservative Samsung update, a cheaper $399 iPad 2, and a possible smaller iPad may skew the results.

Chart: Worldwide Media Tablet Shipments Split by OS Historical and Forecast* 2010 - 2016 (Units in Millions)Description: Source: Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet & e-Reader Tracker, March 12, 2012Note: IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet & e-Reader Tracker provides total market size and vendor share for both the Media Tablet and eReader markets in 46 countries. Detailed historical segmentation is provided by CPU type, operating system, connectivity type, screen size and resolution, storage capacity, distribution channel, and customer segment. Measurement for this tracker is in units, value, and end-user price. For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 1-650-350-6423 or Further detail about this tracker can be found at: IDC, Tracker, Worldwide, Media Tablets, Media Tablet, OS, Android, iOS ...Author: IDCcharts powered by iCharts

by MacNN Staff



  1. psdenno

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Faulty logic..........

    .....since ONLY Amazon knows how many Kindles were sold - unless we count the 25 million iPads Apple sold, but didn't report.

  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    because it is all about market share and not profit isn't it?


  1. LenE

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bad Data Extrapolated!

    Seriously, what represented 30% of the "actual" 2010 tablet market, under the "Others" category? As pathetic and crappy as all of the Android 1.x and 2.x tablets were in 2010, they far outnumbered Windows slates in that year.

    Like others have said, the Kindle Fire market share is a guestimate, at best.

  1. facebook_Slardy

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2012


    recognize "success"

    the kindle model is to sell a crappy device really cheap and make money on the content.

    buy amazon.

  1. SierraDragon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I disagree with IDC

    The forecast shows both Apple and "others" losing share very substantially to Android by 2016. IMO that is very unlikely, because "others" includes Windows 8 products that are not yet available and are likely to impact the Android share.

    Apple created (or recreated if you like) the tablet market and as such should be expected to lose share overall due to starting so high and then with others copying/following. However IMO the ongoing huge share growth to Android IMO will not be sustained to the numbers forecast by IDC.

  1. facebook_John

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2012


    LOL.. Because the IDC has been so accurate..

    From just 7 months ago..

    "Apple's iOS share will continue to lead by more than 40 percentage points over Google's Android for the remainder of the year, but we expect Apple's share to fall closer to 50% by the end of the forecast period as manufacturers bring new tablets to market," said Jennifer Song, research analyst, Worldwide Trackers.

    The other problem is how can you compare full featured tablets with kindles??? That skews the numbers completely. To see a relevant picture they should be removed.

  1. Mechanic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    all i want to know is who's butt there pulling these numbers out of? what a bunch of garbage.

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too many unknowns

    Will there be an iad mini? What affect willthe $399 iPad 2 make? Will people buy a Win 8 tablet? What will Kindles long term customer loyaly be after their dodgy tablet is used? Are refurbished and second-hand iPads taken into consideration in the data? Will Apple drop prices to ensure they continue to grow marketshare? Will developers continue to exit the Android platform? etc, etc.

  1. LenE

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wait, the linked chart changed!

    When I commented earlier, the numbers were different, and it showed that 30% of the tablets in 2010 were "Other", while IOS had 45% and Android had 25%. It doesn't look that way now.

  1. SierraDragon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    New Chart!

    HUGE change in the chart data since my previous post - with NO editorial commentary. WTF?

    The new data ignore possible Win8 tablet contribution even more. MS may be lame but it is not irrelevant.

    This article is so incompetent now it is not even entertaining.


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