IDC: Apple Owned Almost 90% of Tablet Market in 3Q10

Research firm IDC reported on Tuesday that the 3Q10 worldwide market for media tablets grew 45.1% from the previous quarter, driven by the strength of Apple’s iPad, which shipped 4.2 million units and owned 87.4% of the market. IDC expects that 2010 saw nearly 17 million media tablets shipped, with another 44.6 million shipped in 2011. In 2012, that total is expected to reach 70.8 million units.

IDC says it defines media tablets as “tablet form factor devices with color displays larger than 5 in. and smaller than 14 in. running lightweight operating systems (such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS) that can be based on either x86 or ARM processors. By contrast, tablet PCs run full PC operating systems and are based on x86 processors. Media tablets support multiple connectivity technologies and a broad range of applications, which differentiates them from single purpose–focused devices such as ereaders.”

On the ereader front, IDC said 2.7 million units shipped during 3Q10, a 40% jump from the previous quarter. 2010 final numbers should be 10.8 million units, which will increase to 14.7 million in 2011 and 16.6 million in 2012. Amazon’s Kindle was the market share leader in 3Q10, with 1.1 million units shipped and a 41.5% worldwide share. Pandigital, which makes the Novel ereader, came in second, while Barnes & Noble’s Nook was third.