REVISION: Research group IDC now projects shipments of 106 million tablet computers worldwide in 2012, up from its previous forecast of nearly 88 million.
WHAT HAPPENED: Shipments in the fourth quarter were higher than expected. The iPad had competition from cheaper devices such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire, resulting in more awareness and more sales overall.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The rise of tablets comes as sales of traditional personal computers are slowing, particularly among consumers in the U.S. and other industrialized countries. Still, Gartner expects shipments of nearly 370 million PCs this year, about 3.5 times what IDC projects for tablets.