Smaller Tablets Selling Better Than Expected; IDC Pushes Up 2013 Estimate by 10%

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Smaller, cheaper tablets are doing well. So well, that the Market-analysis firm IDC has raised its estimates for how many tablets will ship this year by 10%.

The analysts now think that, in 2013, there will be 192 million tablets shipped globally. Previously, it estimated there would be 172 million units shipped. IDC now estimates that 350 million tablet will ship in 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. “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.”

iPad vs. Android vs. Windows

Google Android will have 49% of the world tablet market in 2013, according to IDC’s estimates. Android’s gains come at the expense of Apple’s iPad series, which is expected to slip from 51% of the market in 2012 to 46% in 2013.

Tablets running Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will be 2.8% of the market, while those with Windows RT will be 1.9%.

IDC’s predictions for 2017 have Android and iOS pretty much where they are now at $6% and 43.5 respectively. The analysis firm sees Windows-based tablets rising to 7.4%, but Windows RT at 2.7%.

Clearly, the company is not optimistic about the prospects for Windows RT. “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. “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.”

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