1 in 23 Canadians will own a tablet by year’s end: IDC

If you have 23 friends, at least one will own a tablet by the end of this year.

That’s the conclusion drawn by a recent IDC study, which analyzed the Canadian tablet market and forecasted numbers up to 2014, from unit shipments and revenue to the average selling price.

While the full report is under wraps for those without a deep pocket, IDC’s report, creatively titled Canadian Media Tablet Market 2010-2014, concludes that roughly 1.5 million tablets will be “installed”—that is, purchased and not just shipped to retailers—by the end of 2011 (including all tablet bought in 2010). In Canada, which has a population of about 34 million, this means that approximately one in 23 Canadians will own a tablet by the end of the year.

“Media tablets turned heads in 2010 with the introduction of the iPad,” says Krista Napier, senior analyst of Canadian emerging technology and digital media for IDC. “With market demand now established, competing vendors are readying to launch their own versions of these multifunctional, lightweight devices. As a result, we can expect the next six months to be overwhelming in terms of product launches, screen sizes, platforms, price points, and feature sets that pick up where the first version of the iPad left off.” 

Of course, many of those Canadians are babies, as well as seniors, neither of whom are particularly likely to buy tablets. So we’re obviously looking at a number much tighter than one in 23 among key age groups, such as 20-35, as well as employees who receive enterprise tablets such as the PlayBook for work purposes (“play,” “work,” get it? Ha ha). And, as always, early adopters (Apple fanboys and techies in this instance) will carry the load for the beginning stages of this emerging market.

Nonetheless, some may consider this stat a little low, considering the ubiquity of smartphones. But because the tablet doesn’t replace any medium—you still need a phone and probably still want a desktop and/or laptop too—its penetration rate can only be so high. In fact, it’s impressively high, and as many tech titans are just barely rolling out their devices, it probably won’t be too long before babies and seniors are snatching iPads and PlayBooks off the shelves.