With the emergence of lower priced tablets spurring demand, a major investment firm has raised its 2012 forecast for worldwide shipments of tablets dramatically higher.
JP Morgan gave a bullish outlook for the worldwide tablet market, adding well over 10 million units to an earlier forecast. The investment bank is forecasting worldwide tablet shipments will reach 99.3 million next year, a 55.2% jump over 2011. Earlier, JP Morgan had said it expected tablet shipments would reach between 70- and 80 million units next year, according to an article by Media Post reporting on the JP Morgan forecast.
In 2013 the forecast calls for tablet sales to easily eclipse the 100 million mark, jumping to 132.6 million.
In the report, JP Morgan analysts said Kindle Fire has established a market for a lower-priced tablet ($199) with a more limited set of features than market leader Apple’s iPad. The investment firm believes Amazon is on track to sell 5 million units in the fourth quarter and 20 million in 2012.
“We expect to see increased pricing pressures on other tablets as a result of the Kindle Fire’s early sales momentum,” JP Morgan said in its updated tablet forecast released Friday.
Even as iPad sales boom, analysts expect Apple to lose market share to lower priced competitors while maintaining its dominant position. JP Morgan expects Apple to ship 45.5 million iPads in 2012, garnering a 46% share of the tablet market.
Tablets based on Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 8 software are expected to be available by next fall, sales numbers for those devices will depend on whether there and delays and, of course, how well they are received by consumers.
Apple is widely-expected to bring out a successor to the iPad 2 next spring, and could keep the current iPad 2 model in production as a competitor to low cost models like the Kindle Fire and various Android-based alternatives.