Analyst firm IDC thinks that tablet makers will now ship 122.3m devices this year, up from its previous forecast of 117.1m. The company expects this to rise to 172.4m units in 2013, too, and 282.7m by 2016. Reminder: four years ago, the iPad didn’t even exist, so predictions for four years’ time are fraught with all kinds of caveats. IDC reckons Apple’s iPad will account for 53.8% of tablet shipments in 2012, ahead of Android (42.7%) and Windows (a measly 2.9%). “The breadth and depth of Android has taken full effect on the tablet market as it has for the smartphone space,” says IDC’s Ryan Reith. “Android tablet shipments will certainly act as the catalyst for growth in the low-cost segment in emerging markets given the platform’s low barrier to entry on manufacturing.”

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