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Windows Tablet Market Share To Stay in Single Digits Through 2017

Despite market share gains throughout the next five years, Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets will remain a distant third behind Android- and iOS-based devices, according to research firm IDC.

In its Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker report, announced Tuesday, IDC said the Google-fostered Android OS currently leads the tablet pack in 2013 with 48.8 percent market share, closely followed by Apple's iOS-based tablets with 46.0 percent of the market.

Badly trailing the two leaders are Windows tablets (defined as a combination of Windows 7 plus Windows 8 devices), which IDC measured as having a 2.8 percent market share in 2013. Windows RT tablets had just a 1.9 percent market share in 2013.

Despite Microsoft's single-digit showing in the tablet market this year, IDC is predicting a higher compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for Windows 8 and Windows RT OSes compared with the competition in the near future. Windows on tablets will grow to 7.4 percent of the market by the end of 2017 (a 48.8 percent CAGR) while Windows RT on tablets will hit 2.7 percent of the market at that same time (a 27.9 percent CAGR).

Meanwhile, Android and iOS will maintain their leads throughout that five-year time span. By the end of 2017, Android will have 46.0 percent of the tablet market (CAGR of 14.8 percent), while iOS will have 43.5 percent (CAGR of 15.0 percent), according to IDC estimates.

Microsoft formally launched Windows 8 and Windows RT on Oct. 26, 2012. That's not a lot of time on the market, but Tom Mainelli, IDC research director for tablets, nevertheless faulted Microsoft's execution.

"Microsoft's decision to push two different tablet operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows RT, has yielded poor results in the market so far," Mainelli said in a released statement. "Consumers aren't buying Windows RT's value proposition, and long term we think Microsoft and its partners would be better served by focusing their attention on improving Windows 8. Such a focus could drive better share growth in the tablet category down the road."

IDC expects that manufacturer use of smaller screens for tablets will bolster the tablet market this year to 190.9 million devices. Tablet shipments will increase to 350 million devices by year's end 2017.

The appearance of lower cost tablets will eventually kill off the market for electronic reader devices. The e-reader market will be in "permanent decline" starting in 2015, IDC predicted.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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Reader Comments

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 Aaron http://www.facebook.com/pages/Why-Google-Is-Dangerous-and-Evil/313905458731490?ref=hl

Windows 8 tablet market share will beat Android tablets based on IDC's estimate - in terms of revenue or profit The IDC's market share estimate is based on units. Windows 8 tablets are more expensive now, so it will sell fewer for now. But low cost models will come out soon. On the other hand, Android is going after the lower and lower end market at cheaper and cheaper prices. In terms of market share based on revenue, Microsoft's Surface is selling at $999, or $1140 plus the touch cover, that's about 5 times of 7" Android tablets. Revenue-wise, Microsoft only needs 1/5 of Android's market share to beat all Android manufacturers combined. Moreover, Surface has a gross margin of 45%, vs. cheap Android devices at less than 20% of gross margin, in terms of gross profit, Microsoft makes 11 times more profit selling one Surface Pro than Android vendors selling one Android tablet! And price-wise, you have Dell, Asus, HP and Lenovo offering lower end Win 8 tablets at about $399 to $499, which is very competitive to iPad and 10" Android tablets. Lastly, don't forget that Microsoft receives $5-$10 of royalty for each Androud device sold.

Fri, Mar 15, 2013

I do not fully agree with this article. It is impossible to predict five years into the future for any market, and the tablet market can change at a snap of a finger. Besides once more people decide to trade up the windows 7 for the 8. They will become more accustomed to the interface and will buy more surfaces since it matches with their home computer. Plus as more people buy windows 8 the store will increases in number of apps over night. Therefore the "common complaint" of the windows store will disappear increasing the number of sales, and as a result taking over more of the tablet market. And this whole chain of events will probably filter through into the smartphone market. I believe Microsoft has done a excellent job trying to get into the tablet world, by using the computer market (one the dominate) to their advantage and incorporating the tablet with the computer. I also believe this slow start in sales of the surface is temporary and sales will pick-up during the summer months when post-secondary student are buying laptops and see how good of an alternative is the surface, and hopefully by then Microsoft will have all the bugs out of it.

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