According to new data from research firm IDC, it doesn't look like Android tablets will ever catch up to the iPad, at least not through 2016. IDC expects strong growth in the demand of tablets and has raised its forecast for the global tablet market to 107.4 million units this year, up from the previous forecast of 106.1 million units. However, Android's market share is expected to decline from 38.8 percent in 2011 to 36.5 percent in 2012.
The actual global tablet shipments in 2011 was 69.6 million units. That number is expected to surge to 107.4 million units for this year and then to double by 2016 to 222.1 million units. Not only has IDC raised its forecast on future shipments, but it has also shifted more of those units towards iOS at the expense of Android. Tablets that are neither iOS nor Android, such as RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook, are exepcted to drop from 3 percent in 2011 to 1 percent in 2012.
The forecast, however, does not include upcoming Windows 8 tablets, which IDC will incorporate into its tracking starting next quarter. Additionally, IDC lowered its forecast for eReaders in 2012 from 28.2 million to 28 million units, after a disappointing first quarter. Lower priced tablets are believed to be affecting eReader demand.