A customer views displays of Apple iPads tablet computers in central London. Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville
Projected figures suggest devices such as iPads will overtake notebook sales for the first time next year.
The latest research by Digitimes shows that tablet shipments are expected to hit 210 million units by 2013 -- a 38.3 percent increase on this year's figures. Passing the 200 million mark will also take the devices past notebooks in terms of popularity.
Notebook sales have so far suffered in 2012. Many people have been put off by the high prices of super-light, super-thin ‘ultrabook' portables while others have chosen to wait until after the release of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, which didn't hit the shops until November. However, figures from MIC, the China-based marketing intelligence and consulting company, show that although notebook sales should improve over the coming year, they're expected to peak at 205 million.
The most interesting figures in Digitimes's findings are those for Android tablets. The report predicts that 2013 will be the year that Google will start to capitalize on its Nexus devices, potentially selling as many as 19 million tablets. It also expects Apple's share of the market to fall significantly to 55.6 percent from more than 60 percent this year due to the growth of Android tablets from Google, Amazon, Samsung and white-box (ie, unbranded) manufacturers.
This growing demand for unbranded tablets could see Android surpass Apple's iOS as the tablet world's leading operating system (as for smartphones) within two years.