The world's gone mobile folks, and don't worry about choosing sides between tablet PCs and eBook readers. Recent data suggests the two segments can coexist just fine, thank you very much. Not only that, but both sectors are growing at an explosive rate. Pretty exciting stuff considering one represents an emerging market (tablets) and the other is just now coming into its own with lighter, faster devices (eReaders).
The International Data Corporation (IDC) says 10.1 million tablets were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010, which is more than double the 4.5 million that were shipped in the third quarter. And it wasn't all Apple, either. The Galaxy Tab and other tablets knocked Apple's share of the media tablet space down from 93 percent to 73 percent in the fourth quarter. Still dominant, but an encouraging sign for competing platforms like Android, webOS, and QNX.
Meanwhile, eReader shipments more than doubled in volume from the previous quarter with 6 million units. That brings the full-year total to 12.8 million units shipped, up a staggering 325 percent from 2009. Amazon was the big winner there, whose third generation Kindle helped the e-tailer increase its share from 40 percent in the third quarter to 48 percent in the fourth.