The recent IDC study this story references has made the rounds this week. Among the link-bait headlines have been:
- "Android tablets will overtake iPad by 2015";
- "The company [Apple] had 54.7 percent of the worldwide tablet market in Q4, down from 61.5 percent in Q3"
- "Android’s share is rising, largely at the expense of the iPad"
What's not clear from the IDC study – and the numerous sites that have referenced it – is that the study, and therefore the stellar, re-reporting of the study are conflating Android units shipped and iOS units sold. My own experience has been 1 Android tablet sighted for every 10 iPads – this might even be a generous assessment. How many Android tablets have you seen in the wild?
In the fourth quarter, Applesold 15.4 million iPads, more than double the 7.3 million sold a year earlier. Among all manufacturers, IDC says 28.2 million tablet computers were shipped in the final three months of 2011, about 2.5 times the number a year earlier.
The 68.7 million tablets shipped in 2011 represents a 9 percent increase from IDC's forecast of 63.3 million and is about 3.5 times the 19.4 million shipped in 2010.