By Marcus Leach

Worldwide media tablet shipments rose by 88.9% in the second quarter of 2011, as well as 303.8% year-over-year to 13.6 million units, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker.

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

Worldwide media tablet shipments in the second quarter were 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).

Research in Motion (RIM) entered the media tablet market in the second quarter of 2011 with its 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.

Looking forward to the second half of 2011, IDC expects Android to cede additional market share in the third quarter (dropping to 23%) before it starts growing its share again in the fourth quarter (increasing to 25.9%) and beyond.

In addition to continued demand for Apple iPads, IDC 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 tablet product. IDC 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 the third quarter. However, with no clear plan to license or sell the OS to other vendors, IDC expects the WebOS market share to shrink back to zero by the first quarter of 2012.

"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."

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