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Android tablet sales will only overtake the iPad after 2015

The release of a new iPad is always a good starting point for a new series of surveys regarding the tablet market share of both iOS and Android. The first survey gives us some interesting new information to comment upon, because it clearly shows that Android running tablets will still be the underdogs in an iPad rules world, or so IDC would have us believe.

The IDC forecast for 2012 sees the iPad sitting comfortably on top of the market share graph with a big chunk of the estimated number of shipped tablets rising from 87.7 million to 106.1 million. By all means this is still a relatively small number when compared to both the number of shipped iPhones and Android smart phones, but the tablet market is slowly growing out of its niche.

The number of shipped Android running tablets has grown considerably in 2011 thanks to the likes of the Amazon Kindle Fire and other more budget orientated devices, but IDC still forecast that Android tablet will only overtake iPad tablets in the number of shipped units somewhere in 2016. An interesting figure is that the Amazon Kindle Fire made up 16.8 percent of all tablets sold worldwide, which is a huge number on its own.

This is the chart the IDC has come up with and we can thanks the guys over at phandroid for the great analysis of this data.

IDC Tablet predictions

IDC Tablet predictions

Other important Android tablets on the market are the ones produced by Barnes & Noble and Samsung. One outsider of this market is RIM with its BlackBerry Playbook, but so far that particular tablet has not impressed in either sales or functionality. Samsung on the other hand has manufactured a great number of different models of their original 7 inch tablet and they are still betting on the more conservative tablet approach. Amazon and Barnes & Noble are going into uncharted territories with their devices that emphasize on a good mix between moderately powerful hardware and relatively older software. After all, not all people need HD screens and quad core processors in their day to day devices.

All in all it seems like Barnes & Noble and Amazon are the visionaries in the tablet market these years, and thanks to them the 2011 tablet market saw a 44.6% hold of Android running devices. After we have done all the maths, it looks like the iPad still has its massive 54.7% market share which should not diminish by much until 2016. The other good bit of news is that the overall tablet growth was up at a 155 % increase in sales quarter-over-quarter.