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Apple's iPad Rules Q3 2010 tablet PC market share

The "media tablet" market, as defined by IDC in its report, includes 5 to 14 inch tablet-shaped devices with color displays and running "lightweight operating systems (such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android OS)." This definition excludes eReaders, most (but not all) of which use monochrome E-ink displays, and also excludes "tablet PCs" (uncapitalized in the report), which the firm defines as running "full PC operating systems" (Windows) as well as being "based on x86 processors," as opposed to "media tablets," which can be use either x86 or ARM chips.

It is also curious that IDC would exclude Apple's iPad from its definition of PC, while also separating it from its definition of tablet PCs, and further silo sales numbers of simpler eReaders, crafting a "media tablet market" that arbitrarily can't include anything but the iPad and very similar Android-based tablets designed to closely copy its specifications (including even models that are much closer to the iPod touch than the iPad, while excluding the iPod touch itself).

Media tablet is currently a euphemism for iPad

Instead, iPad has been defined as a "media tablet," something that Microsoft's licensees have not been able to deliver, and which Android licensees are only threatening to introduce in full force later this year. IDC reports that "vendors" sold 4.8 million media tablets globally in 3Q 2010, with Apple itself selling "nearly 4.2" million of those. In the previous Q2, IDC said "vendors" sold 3.3 million, the same number of iPad units Apple reported selling.

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