Research firm IDC released some interesting data this morning regarding tablet shipments for Q2 of 2011 as well as predictions for the second half of the year. Beating estimates, tablet shipments are now expected to reach 62.5 million in 2011, up from the original forecast of 53.5 million units. Apple's iPad 2 shipments continue to surge as Android slips and RIM enters. WebOS share will disappear by Q1 of 2011 and the much anticipated Amazon tablet is actually an e-reader.
IDC attributes the strong worldwide shipment of tablets in Q2 to the demand for Apple's iPad 2, which shipped 9.3 million units and represents a 68.3 percent share of the entire worldwide tablet market. This was a slight increase from the previous quarter of 65.7 percent. RIM entered the market with the PlayBook reaching 4.9 percent share and, surprisingly, Android tablets slipped down to 26.8 percent from the previous quarter of 34 percent.
Android tablet share is expected to see another drop down to 23 percent in Q3 before it jumps back up in Q4 to 25.9 percent. HP's WebOS tablet share will see an increase to 4.7 percent in Q3 due to the $99 fire sale but since production is discontinued, its share should disappear by the first quarter of 2012.
The expectation for Amazon's tablet, however, will not benefit the Android tablet share, as IDC is considering the much rumored slate to be an e-reader that will compete directly with Barnes & Noble's Nook Color rather than Apple's iPad 2.
E-reader shipments took a dip in Q2, down 9 percent to 5.4 million units, but is expected to grow through the holiday season and reach a total of 27 million units for 2011.