Until now, tablets have been like a critically well-received film. It’s an almost constant subject in the media, but not many have watched it. And while tablet sales have been nothing short of remarkable over the past 12 months for many outside the US where prices for both Android and Apple devices are low enough for the majority of consumers to afford, tablets are still seen as niche products.
However, due to the incredibly competitive landscape created by Google, Amazon, Samsung and Apple over the past year, tablet sales are expected to exceed 172.3 units in 2013 (over 50 million more than 2012) and the trend is likely to continue.
“Tablets continue to captivate consumers, and as the market shifts toward smaller, more mobile screen sizes and lower prices points, we expect demand to accelerate,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, tablets at International Data Corporation (IDC).
IDC also expects that Android will catch up with Apple and Microsoft will carve out a niche in the marketplace in 2013 . “The breadth and depth of Android has taken full effect on the tablet market as it has for the smartphone space,” said Ryan Reith, program manager for IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers. “At the same time, top-tier companies like Samsung, Lenovo, and ASUS are all launching Android tablets which are comparable to premium products, but are offered at much lower price points.”
However, this lower price point is expected to eat into the existing market for e-leaders such as Amazon’s Kindle PaperWhite, rather than the market for low-priced notebook computers.