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Global media tablet sales soared in Q3 2010: IDC

Company predicts 17 million units will have shipped during 2010

Global media tablet sales soared in Q3 2010: IDC
The IDC says that worldwide tablet sales were driven largely by Apple's iPad.

The global media tablet market took off in the third quarter 2010, increasing 45.1%, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). This surge in sales was almost exclusively attributed to Apple's iPad.

IDC's new Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and e-Reader Tracker, showed that vendors shipped 4.8 million units globally in 3Q10, compared to 3.3 million units in the second quarter of 2010. Apple's iPad represented nearly 90% of the media tablets shipped worldwide in 3Q10 with nearly 4.2 million units shipped in 3Q10 and an 87.4% share worldwide.

"The media tablet market's rapid evolution will continue to accelerate in 4Q10 and beyond with new product and service introductions, channel expansion, price competition and experimentation with new use cases among consumers and enterprises," said Susan Kevorkian, research director, Mobile Connected Devices.

It is not only tablets that are increasing in popularity; e-readers are also rapidly growing in popularity globally. e-reader shipments increased to 2.7 million units in Q3 2010, an increase of 40% over Q2 2010. The US represents almost three-quarters of the global e-reader market.

The IDC has predicted that the media tablet market will end 2010 with 17 million units shipped, with the US purchasing approximately 40% of the total. The company has also predicted that 44.5 million media tablet devices will ship in 2011 and 70.8 million in 2012.

IDC says that growth in 2011 and beyond will be spurred by new media tablets based on Android and other operating systems and well as price and features.

Several new products new products from high-profile device vendors, including Motorola's Xoom, based on Android 3.0 and RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook based on BlackBerry Tablet OS will be hitting the market.

The company says media tablets will be popular across both the consumer and business sector.

For the e-reader market, IDC expects shipments at the end of 2010 to reach 10.8 million units shipped globally, with the US representing 72.4% of global shipments.

The company has forecast 14.7 million units to ship in 2011 and 16.6 million in 2012. They say future demand will be driven by competitive pricing, the introduction of colour displays and with demand driven by price competition among e-paper-based device vendors, and the expansion of digital book and periodical content offerings across genres and languages.

In Q3 2010, Amazon was the market leader, shipping over 1.1 million units reaching a 41.5% share worldwide. Pandigital, which has a US focus, came in second, just beating Barnes and Noble, which ships exclusively in the US and came in a close third. The company is expected to post strong Q4 2010 results with the introduction of the NOOKColour in Q4 2010.

Sony came in a distant number four, tied with China-based Hanvon, shipping 200,000 units globally in Q3 2010 and an 8.4% market share.

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