IDC predicts that shipments of media tablets – which it defines as gizmos based on ARM processors and running lightweight operating systems like the Android and iPhone OS – will rise to 46 million units by 2014.
IDC expects 7.6 million media tablets to ship this year.
The growth between now and projected shipments in 2014 represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57.4 percent. IDC thinks 398 million portable PCs will be shipped in 2014.
If IDC’s predictions are correct, that will give Intel something of a headache. It wants to dominate the media tablet sector too, and recently released a Moorestown processor which it hopes will grab design wins. ARM-based designs are typically tiny and consume little power, a little like ARM’s CEO, pictured here (not full size).
Media tablets, said IDC, will provide a broad range of applications and connectivity, making them different from single function devices like e-readers.
While media tablets will start off being marketed as multifunction entertainment devices, IDC believes that there will be productivity applications for supporting both enterprise users and end users.