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IDC: Media Tablet Fire Burned Cooler in Q3

The worldwide media tablet market saw huge sequential growth in the third quarter of 2011, although sales of devices like the iPad came in below forecast and didn't quite keep up the jaw-dropping momentum of Q2.

Those are the results of the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker released Thursday.

In all, media tablet shipments into sales channels hit 18.1 million units last quarter. That's up 24 percent on a sequential basis and a whopping 265 percent from the year-ago quarter.

But IDC notes the result is nearly 6 percent below its original forecast of 19.2 million units. What's more, the sector was seeing 89 percent sequential growth from the first quarter to the second.

Nonetheless, the Framingham, Mass.-based market research firm continues to see strong demand for media tablets in Q4, and actually increased its worldwide shipment forecast for all of 2011 from 62.5 million units to 63.3 million units.

The market remains Apple's to lose, with 11.1 million iPad shipments in the third quarter for a 61.5 percent share, according to IDC.

"Amazon and Barnes & Noble are shaking up the media tablet market, and their success helps prove that there is an appetite for media tablets beyond Apple's iPad," said IDC analyst Tom Mainelli in a statement. "That said, I fully expect Apple to have its best-ever quarter in 4Q11, and in 2012 I think we'll see Apple's products begin to gain more traction outside of the consumer market, specifically with enterprise and education markets."

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 15, 2011 at 11:58 AM