While some have pegged 2013 as the year of the phablet, the latest report from NPD DisplaySearch paints a different picture. The firm estimates that shipments of tablet PCs will surpass 240 million units worldwide in 2013, topping notebook PC shipments, which are expected to reach 207 million, for the first time ever.
Apple (AAPL) has dominated the tablet market since its inception, however NPD predicts that smaller tablets will replace the 9.7-inch iPad as the tablet market leader in 2013. The firm estimates that tablets with a screen size between 7- and 8-inches will account for nearly half the market, or 45%, compared to an estimated 17% share from 9.7-inch slates.
NPD previously predicted that tablet shipments would top notebook shipments in 2016. The firm’s revised expectations echo an earlier report from Digitimes that estimated tablet shipments would grow to 210 million units.
These numbers make it clear that 2013 will be the year of the tablet.