A rare piece of good news for Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows came out of a new IDC report on tablet PC sales. Over the period from 2012 to 2016, the market share of Windows as a tablet OS will grow from 2.9% to 10.3%.
And this larger market share will be part of a growing pie:
A strong competitive landscape — including surging Android tablet shipments and robust demand for Apple’s new iPad mini — has led International Data Corporation to increase its 2012 forecast for the worldwide tablet market to 122.3 million, up from its previous forecast of 117.1 million units. In the latest forecast update of the Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, IDC also raised its 2013 forecast number to 172.4 million units, up from 165.9 million units. And by 2016 worldwide shipments should reach 282.7 million units, up from a previous forecast of 261.4 million units.
Despite the improvement for Windows, operating systems for tablets will continue to be dominated by Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS and Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android. iOS will have a market share of 49.7% in 2016, based on the IDC forecast. Android’s share will be 39.7%. The numbers suggest that the iPad will not completely dominate the market four years from now.
Douglas A. McIntyre