IDC: Windows tablets won't hit 10% market share until 2016
Less than 3% of fondleslab market for 2012
Analyst firm IDC sees Windows-based tablets winning significant market share away from both Android and iOS eventually, but says it won't happen for another several years yet.
According to the latest figures from the company's Worldwide Tablet Tracker, sales of fondleslabs running Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows RT will only account for 2.9 per cent of the market in 2012, and they aren't expected to hit the 10 per cent mark until 2016.
The new IDC estimates come after widespread reports of slow sales for Windows devices of all kinds, which many analysts have chalked up to an overall downturn in the PC market.
A sluggish market doesn't seem to be a problem for tablet makers, however, because according to IDC, sales of all manner of slabs are accelerating. The company has actually increased its estimate of fondleslab sales for 2012 to 122.3 million units, up from its original forecast of 117.1 million units.
It also boosted its 2013 forecast to 172.4 million units sold, and it says it expect the upward trend to continue throughout the coming years, reaching 282.7 million units by 2016 – more than double the current figure.
"Android tablets are gaining traction in the market thanks to solid products from Google, Amazon, Samsung, and others," said IDC research director Tom Mainelli. "And Apple's November iPad Mini launch, along with its surprise refresh of the full-sized iPad, positions the company well for a strong holiday season."
As it stands, IDC sees Android and iOS virtually neck-and-neck for market share, with Apple expected to retain an advantage of around 10 per cent through 2016.
So where does that leave Microsoft? In not such hot shape, if IDC's figures are to be believed. The company says it expects Windows-based tablets to whittle 3 per cent off of Android's market share and around 4 per cent of Apple's, but not for another four years.
If those estimates prove prophetic, it will be bad news for Microsoft. For one thing, it means the current generation of Windows tablets will essentially be flops. Redmond usually ships a new version of Windows more often than once every four years, so who knows what a Windows fondleslab will even look like in 2016?
And then there's that pesky sales trend we keep hearing about, where analysts predict users will stop buying traditional PCs and laptops as they turn to tablets for more of their general computing needs.
In July, NPD DisplaySearch predicted that device vendors would actually sell more fondleslabs than traditional notebooks beginning in 2016. If that turns out to be true and tablets really are the future of client computing, Microsoft had better hope IDC's 10.3 per cent market share estimate is way off. ®
I wish I could get paid for doing what they do
They just look at the current market share, give a bit of weight to current trends, and top it off with a generous helping of what their clients want to hear.
Their clients are corporations, all of whom are far more heavily invested in Microsoft than they are in Apple or Google. So of course they'll overestimate Microsoft's share.
These guys are the ones who two years ago were predicting near double digit growth in the PC market as far as the eye could see, and kept adjusting their predictions each quarter as it turned out the PC market was actually SHRINKING. This year's shrinkage was blamed on Europe this spring and on people waiting for Windows 8 this summer.
I haven't seen their updated predictions since the PC market shrunk by more than double digits in the past quarter, they are probably busy figuring out what to blame that on - my money's on the US fiscal cliff. Who knows what the next quarter's shrinkage will be blamed on? Hangover from the world not ending on Dec. 21, perhaps?
Four year projections are worthless
Especially from IDC. Here's one of their previous howlers:
"IDC's latest worldwide smartphone shipment forecast through 2013 has Symbian continuing to dominate the field of ever-stronger competitors thanks "primarily to the strength of Nokia in markets outside of the United States"
IDC always inflates the Microsoft number
Usually they give Redmond a 20x bonus in their mobile forecast for some reason. So if they say 10 percent, expect 0.5.