iPad Widens Its Lead as Tablet Sales Surge

iPad Widens Its Lead as Tablet Sales Surge

According to a report on Thursday from market researcher International Data Corp, the global market for tablet computers is growing at a faster rate than expected, and to no one’s surprise, Apple’s dazzling iPad is leading the pack.

The San Francisco Chronicle:

Worldwide shipments of tablets this year will be 107.4 million units, up from an earlier projection of 106.1 million, IDC said Thursday. Worldwide shipments should reach 142.8 million next year and 222.1 million by 2016, the group said.

Competitors like Amazon and Samsung keep releasing new tablets running Google’s Android operating system to try and compete, but Apple’s iPad continues to dominate the market. IDC predicts the iPad will account for 62.5 percent of global shipments this year, up from 58.2 percent last year.

Analysts say Apple’s share could increase even further if it introduces a smaller, less expensive tablet.

“Apple’s iPad shows few signs of slowing down,” said Tom Mainelli, IDC’s research director of mobile connected devices. “If Apple launches a sub-$300, 7-inch product into the market later this year as rumored, we expect the company’s grip on this market to become even stronger.”

Shipments of tablets using Android will slip to 36.5 percent, from 38.7 percent last year, according to IDC.

The report shows how consumers are increasingly turning to tablets for basic computing needs such as web browsing, email, and watching video. Last week, research firm Yankee Group predicted tablet sales in the United States will eclipse those of personal computers by 2015.