For the first time in three years, analysts are reporting that Android may have a shot at overtaking iOS in the tablet market this year. International Data Corporation (IDC) released a report today that shows an increase in predicted tablet sales for 2013 thanks to the popularity of smaller screen devices. Unfortunately for Apple, there are a lot more Android based 7-inch tablets than there are iOS-based 7-inch tablets. This could mean the Apple has finally lost its grip on being the dominant OS in the tablet market.
IDC’s report forecasts an increase in worldwide tablet sales to 190.9 million, up from its original estimate of 172.4 million for 2013. The sudden interest in tablets is due, in part, to the recent launch of smaller sized tablets from a number of device makers.
“One in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size. And in terms of shipments, we expect smaller tablets to continue growing in 2013 and beyond” said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst for IDC’s Tablet Tracker. “Vendors are moving quickly to compete in this space as consumers realize that these small devices are often more ideal than larger tablets for their daily consumption habits.”
Android-based tablets expanded in 2012, which lead IDC researchers to predict the trend to continue, which would push iOS below the halfway mark in 2013. According to IDC, Android will peek at 48.8 percent in 2013, while iOS is predicted to slip from 51 percent in 2012 to 46 percent in the current year. Windows RT is predicted to capture 1.9 percent of the market this year.
If IDC’s numbers are correct, this will be the first time in three years that Apple will not be the leader in the tablet market. I guess this means more analysts will be predicting the apocalypse for the iPad maker in 2013.