It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that tablet sales are skyrocketing. Between the technology growing at such a high rate and the cost of quality components remaining somewhat reasonable, tablets are omniscient these days. It seems like everybody has one, and according to some new numbers by ABI research at some point that statement may not be too far off.
In 2013 the research firm has predicted that tablet sales will grow by a total of 28% from the previous year bringing the global potential end user revenues to a whopping $64 million.
Apple is obviously the top dog in the tablet market as their iPad has been the king of the mountain since the company released the slate in 2010. Android however has been slowly gaining ground, although not as much as we'd expect given the smartphone numbers. The total breakdown is that of all the tablets that were shipped in 2012 60% ran IOS while 37% came out of the box with Android (or a form of the OS like the Kindle Fire). Picking up the final 3% was a combination of "Windows (Windows 7, 8, or RT), BlackBerry Tablet OS, and unidentified OS implementations."
According to mobile devices senior practice director Jeff Orr:
"The tide is definitely turning toward Android-based tablets, though Apple will not slouch as it feels the competition approaching. The iPad mini was a timely introduction in 2012, though ABI Research remains cautious about the bottom line impact this is having for Apple. The first quarter of 2013 should be the first time where production was able to meet market demand and a better sense of how much 9.7" iPad volume has switched to the smaller, lower-cost mini will be understood."
ABI predicts that the next challenge to Apple will be that a specific manufacturer will step up to the plate to go head on with the device maker, most likely Samsung. The reasoning being that the South Korean company's success in 2012 with the combination of smartphones, Android OS, and the Galaxy Note II will translate over to the tablet market. "A well-executed Samsung tablet strategy could double the company's market share this year," adds Orr.
It remains to be seen if it will be Samsung or another company (maybe even the second Nexus 7) can close the huge gap between Apple and everyone else with regards to tablets. The fact remains however that these things aren't just a fad and are working their way into our everyday lives just as much if not more than our trusty smartphones.
Source: ABI Research