Android tablets to outsell iPad this year
IDC said low-cost tablets will sell well and that smaller-sized tablets are on the rise
Android tablets are on pace to outsell the iPad for the first time by the end of the year, according to new data from IDC.
The report said that tablet sales overall will rise in 2013 to 190.9 million units, which is a boost from the previous forecast of 172.4 million. Look for that growth trend to continue, as tablet sales are expected to hit 350 million by the end of 2017.
For the end of the year, IDC expects Android to have 48.8 percent of the market compared to the 46 percent for iOS and the iPad. These will account for the bulk of tablet sales but Windows 8 will likely make up most of the rest, IDC said.
The report also found that there's growing interest in smaller tablets, as half of all the tablets shipped this quarter had a screen that was smaller than eight inches. With devices like the Galaxy Note 8 expected to land soon, you can expect more devices to follow this trend.
It's obviously not a one-to-one comparison because the iPad and iPad mini come from Apple and IDC is taking into account nearly every manufacturer that makes an Android device. Still, Apple has recently crowed about how the iPad has outsold the entire portfolio of Android tablets, so I guess it's fair to make this comparison.
Don't expect Apple to take this standing still though, as the company is already preparing its next-generation of iPad devices. The iPad 5 could be introduced as early as next month and we're expecting it to have a retina display, a boosted processor, an enhanced camera and a thinner and lighter frame.
There's even the slight chance that we'll see two new iPad mini tablets this year. There are rumors that we'll see an iPad mini 2 in a month which has a boosted processor and we then may see the iPad mini with a Retina Display later in the year or in early 2014.
As for the high-profile Android tablets, I'm expecting to see another Nexus tablet from Google and we may see it as soon as the next Google I/O conference in May. Later in the year, we'll also see a new Kindle Fire HD.