The WW tablet market is seeing "stronger-than-expected" growth across many regions IDC reports, with global Q4 2011 shipments reaching 28.2M units with 155% Y-o-Y growth. Shipments for the whole year total 68.7M.
As a result, IDC revises 2012 shipments forecasts from 87.7M to 106.1M units.
According to the analyst, Android makes strong gains in Q4 2011, thanks to low-cost offerings such as the Amazon Kindle Fire--- Android market share reaches 44.6%, up from 32.3% in Q3. On the other hand, the iOS grip on the market slips from 61.6% in Q3 to 54.7% for Q4 2011.
"...[T]he sheer number of vendors shipping low-priced, Android-based tablets means that Google's OS will overtake Apple's in terms of worldwide market share by 2015," IDC predicts.
When it comes to other operating systems, Blackberry Q4 2011 share is down to 0.7% (from 1.1% in Q3), while WebOS drops from 5% in Q3 to a zero.
Also showing surprising growth are ePaper-based eReaders-- with Q4 2011 shipments reaching 10.7M units with 64.3% Y-o-Y growth. IDC expects such growth to continue in 2012, especially as major players Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo continue expanding towards more international markets.