Media Tablet and eReader sales continue to grow at a torrid pace

The worldwide media tablet market grew 45.1% in the third quarter of 2010 thanks to continued huge demand for the Apple iPad according to a report out this week from the International Data Corporation.

Meanwhile, global eReader sales expanded rapidly in the third quarter of 2010 with total shipments reaching 2.7 million units, representing a 40% gain over the previous quarter.

Media Tablet Sales

Apple iPad

IDC says vendors shipped 4.8 million units between July and September compared to 3.3 million units for the preceding months. The Apple’s iPad accounted for almost nine out of ten (87.4%) media tablets sold.

Remaining sales came from smaller vendors shipping media tablets based primarily on Android 2.1 and 2.2. Samsung’s introduction of the Galaxy Tab in the fourth quarter of the year was the first major vendor to bring an Android media tablet market to market. In 2011, new media tablets are also expected from major manufacturers such as Motorola and Research in Motion (RIM).

The research firm defines media tablets as tablet form factor devices with color displays larger than 5 in. and smaller than 14 in. running operating systems such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS and can be based on either x86 or ARM processors. By contrast, IDC defines a tablet PC as a computer which runs full PC operating systems and are based on x86 processors.

IDC says that once the final sales numbers are in about 17 million media tablets will have been sold in 2010. The firm predicts sales of 44.6 million in 2011, with the U.S. accounting for about 40% of the total. In 2012, they predict worldwide shipments of 70.8 million units. Growth in 2011 and beyond is expected to driven by the introduction of media tablets based on Android and other operating systems.

eReader Sales

The Popular Amazon Kindle eReader

As noted, Global sales were up 40% in the third quarter to 2.7 million units. The U.S. represents nearly three-quarters of the worldwide eReader market.

Amazon was the market leader for the quarter with more than 1.1 million units shipped and 41.5% share worldwide. Next up was Pandigital with sales of 440,000 units representing a 16.1% market share, followed by Barnes and Noble (420,000 units/15.4% market share) in third spot. Sony and China’s Hanvon were in a virtual tie with approximately 230,000 units sold (a 8.4% market share. All other sold 290,000 units.

IDC anticipates that worldwide shipments for 2010 to close at 10.8 million units with the U.S. representing 72.4% of global shipments. Increased demand is expected to be stimulated by lower prices, the introduction of color display eReaders, and more digital content.

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