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IDC has defined a new category for the iPad and its like competitors called the "media tablet", defining it as "color displays larger than 5 in. and smaller than 14 in. running lightweight operating systems (such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android OS) and can be based on either x86 or ARM processors". It claims that iPad owns 87% of this category, but notes strong upcoming competition.

It also points out that this segment is rapidly outpacing e-readers, which itself is a growing category. The Kindle, while leading e-readers with 45% share, is outsold by iPad nearly 4-to-1.

Link

Vendor Outlook: Media Tablets

Apple definitively led the worldwide media tablet market in shipments and set the standard for technology innovation in 2010, with nearly 4.2 million units shipped in 3Q10 and an 87.4% share worldwide.
During 3Q10 a handful of tier 2 and tier 3 vendors shipped media tablets based primarily on Android 2.1 and 2.2. In 4Q10, Samsung's introduction of the Galaxy Tab brought the first tier 1 device vendor to the Android media tablet market. Media tablet market growth is expected to accelerate significantly in 1Q11 with new products from multiple high-profile device vendors, including Motorola's Xoom, based on Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), and RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook based on BlackBerry Tablet OS.
Vendor Outlook: eReaders

Amazon was the market leader for the quarter with more than 1.1 million units shipped and 41.5% share worldwide.
Pandigital, which has a U.S. focus for its Novel ereaders with models based not only on epaper but also color LCD technology, came in second to Amazon worldwide and just edged out Barnes and Noble.
Barnes and Noble, which is currently shipping exclusively in the U.S. market, was a strong contender for the number 3 position in 3Q10 and is expected to have good results in 4Q10 given its strong brand, competitive pricing for its epaper-based products, and the introduction of the new NOOKcolor in 4Q10.
Sony was a distant number 4 vendor with slightly more than 200,000 units shipped and 8.4% worldwide share. Sony's early lead in North American ereader market has been usurped by Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
China-based Hanvon edged close to Sony and effectively tied for fourth place with 8.2% worldwide share.
 

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That's the first time I've ever seen a sales number released for the Kindle. I wonder where that came from, as I don't recall ever seeing Amazon disclose such a figure, apart from saying "it's our best-selling item, ever!".
 

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color displays larger than 5 in. and smaller than 14 in. running lightweight operating systems (such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android OS) and can be based on either x86 or ARM processors"
That's a bizarre description. I'd like to know what devices qualify. what was the close to half a million non-Ipad tablets? I don't think the Samsung device was out in the 3rd quarter??

Finally, I'm not sure how you define an OS as "lightweight." what OS's are "heavyweight?"

I'm going to presume that they say MS Windows is a "heavyweight" so does that mean that HP's Slate which runs MS Windows is not a tablet?
 

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IDC's Tracker Methodology

IDC's tracker data is developed using a rigorous methodology that includes well-planned and well-coordinated local, regional, and worldwide data cross-checks combined with a proprietary advanced data consolidation and analysis data platform managed by IDC's Worldwide Tracker organization. Data sources used in the process of determining IDC's tracker numbers include, but are not limited to:

In-country local vendor interviews
Distribution data feeds
Worldwide and regional vendor guidance
ODM data
In-country local channel partner discussions
Import records
Feedback from component suppliers
Vendor briefings and public financial reports
Amazon reports earnings next Thursday. Recent statements suggest they had a great Xmas. I doubt they will have any hard numbers just trending.

On another note, comparing an Ipad to a Kindle is just a silly comparison IMHO.

Here's an article on Kindle sales, once again pure speculation:


*********** Kindle Sales Are Said to Exceed Estimates
 
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