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Demand Surges for Media Tablets

Stronger than expected consumer demand means media tablet shipments will grow at a faster rate than previously forecast, according to researcher International Data Corp.

About 117.1 million media tablets will ship in 2012, IDC reported. Previously, IDC had forecast that 107.4 million tablets would ship.

IDC also upgraded its forecast for 2013. The researcher now forecasts that tablet shipments will grow to 165.9 million next year. IDC had earlier forecast that 142.8 million media tablets would ship in 2013. By 2016, tablet shipments will reach 261.4 million units, according to the researcher.

"Despite ongoing economic concerns in most regions of the world, consumers continue to buy tablets in record numbers and we expect particularly strong demand in the fourth quarter," said Tom Mainelli, research director, mobile connected devices for IDC.

He noted that Apple's iPad dominates the media tablet market, but there is "room in the market for others to find success." New Android- and Windows-based products that will ship in the coming months will give consumers buying options, according to Mainelli.