Android will rule the tablet market: Report

According to research firm, IDC Android tablets will conquer tablet industry by 2015. Android tablets will surpass worldwide market share of Apple’s iPad due to the sheer weight of hardware manufacturers churning out cheap tablets. As a result other tablet players don’t have a chance in increasing their shipments and particularly Windows 8-powered ARM tablets deserve no mention in IDC’s results.

Much as Android phones came to be side-by-side with Apple's iPhone in the consumer market after a few years, Android tablets could do much the same.

In the last quarter of 2011, worldwide, there were 28.2 million tablets shipped, an increase of 155 percent from the last quarter of 2010, according to IDC's ccording to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker.

"The market experienced stronger-than-expected growth across many regions and at many price points, leading to a full-year 2011 total of 68.7 million units," IDC said. "Based upon the markets' strong 2011 finish, and the clear demand expected in 2012, IDC has increased its 2012 forecast to 106.1 million units, up from its previous forecast of 87.7 million units."

And, "despite an impressive debut by Amazon, which shipped 4.7 million Kindle Fire into the market, Apple continued to see strong growth in the quarter, shipping 15.4 million units in 4Q11, up from 11.1 million units in 3Q11. That represents a 54.7 percent worldwide market share (down from 61.5 percent in 3Q11)."

While the Kindle Fire grabs the No. 2 spot, with 16.8 percent of the worldwide market, Samsung moved to the third-place, which grew from 5.5 percent in the third quarter of last year to 5.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

"Amazon's widely-reported entry into the media tablet market with a $199, 7-inch product seemed to raise consumers' awareness of the category worldwide despite the fact that the Fire shipped almost exclusively in the U.S. in the fourth quarter," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices, in an IDC press release. Amazon had even worked with Android developers to offer special discounts on some of the popular Android apps.

IDC said it expects Android to continue to "grow its share of the market at the expense of iOS," Apple's mobile operating system.

"As the sole vendor shipping iOS products, Apple will remain dominant in terms of worldwide vendor unit shipments," Mainelli said. "However, the sheer number of vendors shipping low-priced, Android-based tablets means that Google's OS will overtake Apple's in terms of worldwide market share by 2015. We expect iOS to remain the revenue market share leader through the end of our 2016 forecast period and beyond."