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By | Paul Kunert 19th September 2012 17:18

Sleep easy, Tim Cook: Surface, Win8 tablet shipments looking poor

These fondleslab galleons be barely worth pillaging

Microsoft's Surface and OEM Windows-based tab sales are forecast to be low this Christmas season as price and "consumer confusion" limits appeal, bean counter IDC claimed. It seems World + dog can't get enough of the slab fondling phenomena as demand has forced IDC to up its Q4 forecasts by nearly ten million boxes but Apple and the Android army look set to be the major beneficiaries.

The analyst estimates that 117.1 million slates will be punted in the quarter up from earlier expectations in June of 107.4 million. It has also ratcheted up its 2013 numbers from nearly 143 million to almost 166 million.

"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 IDC.

No surprises that Apple's tight grip on the market is predicted to continue but punters will have more options during the festive season with new Android and the first Win 8 devices coming.

But it won't be Microsoft's forthcoming Surface devices, or its band of Windows 8 hardware partners that will experience a huge uplift in sales, said the analyst.

IDC reckons that Windows-based tabs (Win7, 8 and RT) will account for just four per cent of the market by year-end, and 11 per cent by 2016, compared to a single digit percentage for Windows 7 units in 2011.

Tablets running Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 and RT operating systems, including the company's own Surface tablets, will add some momentum," said IDC analyst Jennifer Song.

"However, we expect shipments to remain low in the fourth quarter as high prices and consumer confusion around these devices will limit their appeal," she said.

Google's Android OS will witness benefit from the Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire launches. ®

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