iPad Drives Tablet Market to 17 Million Units Shipped in 2010

What kind of impact has Apple’s iPad had on the tablet market? In just one quarter, the iPad helped drive up sales of media tablets by 45% and took nearly 90% of the market.

A new report from IDC shows that both the media tablet market and the e-reader market made big leaps in 2010. The market for media tablets grew from 3.3 million in Q2 to 4.8 million in Q3, an increase of 45.1%. That growth was fueled almost exclusively by the iPad. In Q3, Apple sold 4.19 million iPads, representing over 87% of the media tablet market.

IDC defines media tablets as devices larger than five inches and less than 14 inches running “lightweight operating systems,” primarily iOS and Android.

E-readers experienced rapid growth as well, led by the Amazon Kindle. 1.14 million Kindles were shipped in Q3, representing 41.5% of the e-reader market. Unexpectedly though, the Pandigital Novel (440 million) beat out the Barnes and Noble Nook (420 million) for second place.

The most interesting part of the report though was the overall forecasts for 2010, 2011 and 2012. For 2010, IDC predicts that about 17 million media tablets will be shipped (they’re still counting up the numbers), but that it will grow to a whopping 44.6 million in 2011 and 70.8 million in 2012. If devices like the iPad 2 and the Motorola Xoom succeed though, then IDC might have to revise its numbers.

Will Apple be able to sustain its massive lead in the tablet market, or will Android start eating into that market share? We’re going to find out soon.

[via paidContent]

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