Tablets are gaining popularity worldwide, and Apple's iPad continues to capitalize, a new report from market research firm IDC has found.
During the third quarter of 2010, the worldwide tablet market grew by 45.1 percent, IDC reported. All told, vendors shipped 4.8 million units during the quarter, up from the 3.3 million they shipped in the second quarter of 2010. IDC said that Apple's iPad enjoyed 87.4 percent market share during the period, tallying 4.2 million units shipped worldwide.
IDC estimates that 17 million tablets were shipped worldwide in 2010. That figure is expected to grow exponentially in 2011 with an estimated 44.6 million tablets shipped. In 2012, IDC said that it expects 70.8 million tablets to hit store shelves.
IDC's tablet findings follow a recent report from research firm Forrester, which claims about 10.3 million tablets were sold in the U.S. during 2010. Like IDC, Forrester sees significant growth in the tablet space going forward, with an expected 24.1 million tablet purchases in the U.S. in 2011. Forrester said it believes U.S. tablet sales will reach 35.1 million next year.
IDC also examined the e-reader market. The research firm said that 2.7 million e-readers shipped in the third quarter, representing 40 percent growth compared to the previous period. The research firm said that Amazon's Kindle led the e-reader market during the third quarter with 41.5 percent market share and a total of 1.1 million units shipped. Pandigital took the second spot in the e-reader space with 440,000 units shipped. It was followed by Barnes & Noble and Sony with 420,000 units and 230,000 units sent out, respectively.
Amazon's control over the e-reader market isn't much of a surprise. The retailer announced last month that its third-generation Kindle is its best-selling product of all time.
Going forward, IDC sees significant growth in the e-reader market. The company said that it estimates 10.8 million e-readers shipped worldwide in 2010, and that figure should grow to 14.7 million in 2011. Next year, it expects e-reader shipments to hit 16.6 million.