Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 15-09-2011

The market for video-friendly "second screen" tablets is exploding, and there's little but the Apple iPad to thank.

Worldwide media tablet shipments rose by 88.9% on a sequential basis and 303.8% year over year in the second calendar quarter of 2011 to 13.6 million units, according to the IDC, driven by continued robust demand for Apple's iPad 2, which saw shipments reach 9.3 million units, representing a 68.3% share of the worldwide market (up from 65.7% the previous quarter).

"Apple's iOS share will continue to lead by more than 40 percentage points over Google's Android for the remainder of the year, but we expect Apple's share to fall closer to 50% by the end of the forecast period as manufacturers bring new tablets to market," said Jennifer Song, research analyst forthe IDC, Worldwide Trackers.

Based on this strong performance in the second quarter, and an improved outlook for the second half of the year, IDC has raised its shipment forecast for 2011 to 62.5 million units, up from a previous projection of 53.5 million units.

The iPad is clearly the biggest story in the market, but it's not the only one. Research in Motion entered the media tablet market in 2Q11 with its Blackberry PlayBook product, grabbing a 4.9% share of the market.

Apple's strength and RIM's entrance meant bad news for Android-based media tablets, which saw its collective share slip to 26.8%, down from 34.0% the previous quarter, despite the launch of high-end entrants like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Looking forward to the second half of 2011, IDC expects Android to cede additional market share in 3Q11 (dropping to 23%) before it starts growing its share again in 4Q11 (increasing to 25.9%) and beyond.

IDC also expects many consumers who were on the fence about buying a media tablet to scoop up $99 TouchPads as a result of HP's decision to end production of its webOS-based tablet product a mere weeks after launch. IDC in fact expects close to a million TouchPads to ship into the channel before the end of the year. As a result, webOS's worldwide market share is forecast to reach 4.7% in 3Q11. However, with no clear plan to further license or sell the OS (which it acquired along with Palm last year), IDC expects the webOS market share to shrink back to zero by 1Q12.

"Media tablet shipments grew at a solid pace in the second quarter, led by continued strong demand for Apple products," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices. "We expect shipment totals to continue to grow in the third and fourth quarter, as additional vendors introduce more price-competitive Android products into the market and Apple works to maintain its dominance in the category."