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Apple to Dominate 49% of the Tablet Market by 2016

Sites include , . Published on December 13th, 2012. Written by Anthony West.

There’s a battle going on and it’s being waged between the good old fashioned PC and the new kid on the block, tablets. At first glance it would appear that both can co-exist in digital harmony but research firm International Data Corp (IDC) is suggesting that this can’t and won’t be the case.

At the heart of the firm’s research are projections that in the very near future, tablets will make a significant inroad into PC sales. Things have been going so well for the latest generation of tablet PCs in terms of sales that IDC has projected another 5 million tablets for shipment by the end of 2012. At the start of the year IDC has predicted sales of 117.1 million units across all tablet makers. That forecast changed thanks in large part to Apple’s late-season release of the iPad mini and Microsoft’s release of the Surface tablet. Both have been selling, though Microsoft hasn’t had the run of form with its offering like Apple has had with the iPad mini. Throw in the various tablets powered by Android and you see a very rosy picture being painted for future tablet PC sales.

IDC’s research director, Tom Mainelli believes that the surge in sales in just the beginning and points to the tremendous influx of tablet PCs into the marketplace. “Android tablets are gaining traction in the market thanks to solid products from Google, Amazon, Samsung and others. And Apple’s November iPad mini launch, along with its surprise refresh of the full-sized iPad, positions the company well for a strong holiday season,” said Mainelli in a recent press release for the research firm.

Things will get better (but not for PC sales)

Presently PC sales are not as healthy as they used to be, but not bad enough where large manufactures like HP and Dell are worried. The projections for the future, particularly the next 4 years are not so good, however. IDC estimates that tablet PC sales will continue to climb each year and that by 2016 Apple will dominate the tablet market with a whopping 49.7% market share. Android will still have a strong portion of the market (39.7%) but Windows would have climbed into a healthy third position with 10.3% of the tablet market.

The predictions show one thing clearly: companies like Apple and Google that have invested heavily on the future growth of tablets will reap the biggest rewards. Some estimates tip Apple selling more than 140 million iPads in 2016.

Of course, if tablet sales are going to be so high by 2016 then it means PC sales would have slowed significantly. Mainelli believes that as more and more consumers warm to the idea of greater portability and smaller screen sizes, the PC will eventually bite the dust. “Tablets continue to captivate consumers, and as the market shifts toward smaller, more mobile screen sizes and lower prices points, we expect demand to accelerate in the fourth quarter and beyond,” said Mainelli in the press release.

PC manufactures have time though—at least another 4 years before things really get bad. With this we can expect more big-name PC makers like Dell and HP to switch focus and give consumers more of what they want, right now.

Do you think tablets are as functional as PCs? Share your thoughts below.

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