Apple predicted to lose tablet market share to Android, Windows over the next 4 years

Apple's iPad line, including the new iPad mini, has become the most successful series of tablets ever built, claiming over half the tablet market share. However, Android is slowly chipping away at that figure, and is gaining tablet market share while Apple is slowly losing it. It's predicted that Apple will lose a few percentage points, while both Android and Windows will gain a few.

According to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), iPad market share is expected to slip to 53.8% by the end of this year, from 56.3% in 2011. Android tablets, on the other hand, will increase their market share from 39.8% to 42.7%. However, predictions four years from now tell an interesting story.

In 2016, That 53.8% of Apple's tablet market share is predicted to dip even further to 49.7%, while Android's market share will take a hit as well, down to 39.7%. However, Microsoft's tablet market share, thanks to their new Surface tablet running Windows RT, will go from 2.9% market share in 2012 to 10.3% in 2016.

Of course, these are just projections, so don't follow these numbers strictly, but IDC expects worldwide market tablet shipments to increase to 122.3 million units by the end of this year, which is an increase on its previous forecast of 117.1 million. Throughout 2013, IDC expects tablet shipments to reach 172.4 million units, an increase on its previous estimate of 165.9 million units.