iPad forecasted to snatch market share from Android tablets this year

IDC has revised their forecast for the worldwide tablet market, suggesting that iOS will lead the way with 62.5% share, which is up from 58.2%. Meanwhile, IDC expects Android tablets to dip from 38.7% to 36.5%, while RIM's PlayBook will drop from 1.7% to 1%. Global shipments are projected to reach 107.4 million units this year, 137.4 million in 2013, and 22.1 million by 2016. IDC's Tom Mainelli commented on the progress of the iPad.

After a very strong launch of new products in March, Apple's iPad shows few signs of slowing down. The addition of the Retina Display and 4G capabilities to the third-generation products clearly enticed many current owners to upgrade. And Apple's decision to keep two iPad 2s in the market at lower prices—moving the entry-level price down to $399 seems to be paying off as well. 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.

Of course, one always has to take analyst projections with a grain of salt, especially when they're reaching years in advance, but the forecast for this year seems safe enough. It's definitely easy to imagine Apple gaining ground on the likes of the Amazon Kindle if they can pump out an affordable, smaller iPad to compete head-to-head. There are a lot of good reasons that could get Apple to make a 7-inch tablet.

How well do you guys think Android will compete for the rest of the year? Is it a give that the new iPad will be able to hold its own until the next iPad starts peeping out its head? Does Apple really need t

Chart: Worldwide Media Tablet Shipments Split by OSHistorical and Forecast* 2010 - 2016 (Units in Millions)Description: Tags: Author: IDCcharts powered by iCharts

Source: IDC