According to a new forecast from market research firm IDC, worldwide media tablet shipments will grow from 7.6 million units in 2010 to more than 46 million units in 2014, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57.4%. In comparison, IDC expects 398 million portable PCs will be shipped in 2014.
"These are early days for media tablets, an altogether new device category that takes its place between smartphones and portable PCs. IDC expects consumer demand for media tablets to be strongly driven by the number and variety of compatible third-party apps for content and services," noted Susan Kevorkian, program director at IDC.
"The availability of apps unique to media tablets and that differentiate the experience of using one compared with a PC or smartphone will be crucial for driving consumer demand. As the category matures and more media tablet-optimized apps become available, IDC expects that media tablets will evolve beyond nice-to-have devices and become necessities for many consumers."
Early May Apple already announced that it sold its one millionth iPad, 28 days after its introduction. At that time iPad users had downloaded over 12 million apps from the App Store.