The tablet market has been a one man show with Apple's iPad dominating sales in the last year as the introduction of the first serious competitor in the face of the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab didn't do much to change that. Market analysts IDC noted a 45% quarter-on-quarter increase in the media tablet segment for the third quarter of 2010. In IDC's terms, a tablet is any 5- to 14-inch device in the tablet form factor running a lightweight OS like Android OS or iOS, but not a “full” OS, which would make it a tablet PC.
There were 4.8 million media tablets shipped during last year's third quarter with 4.2 million of them being Apple's slate. This means that the tablet had a share of 87.4%. At the same time, IDC's fourth quarter expectations for iPad sales accounted to 6.5 million units, while just yesterday Apple beat that estimate with a 7.3 million sold tablets throughout the holiday quarter.
With that said, the estimation might seem even less optimistic as the market reacts well to the new product. The upcoming Motorola XOOM and RIM PlayBook tablet upped the estimate for 2011 to 44.6 million shipped tablets.
Research Director at IDC Susan Kevorkian concluded:
"The media tablet market's rapid evolution will continue to accelerate in fourth quarter 2010 and beyond with new product and service introductions, channel expansion, price competition and experimentation with new use cases among consumers and enterprises."