There will be over 285 million big brand tablets in use by the end of the year, a new report from ABI Research shows, from well-known devices makers including Apple, Samsung and others. Apparently the report does not include cheaper tablets made by less known players in the tablet business, also known as white-box tablets. In the U.S., more than 70 million tablets will have been purchased by the end of the year, “about one for every four persons.”
ABI says that while Apple’s iPad still has a dominant position in the market, Android is quickly catching up. “Apple’s early tablet lead is not as evident three years into the market’s boom,” senior practice director Jeff Orr said. “The initial iPad shipments are aging out with the first wave of replacement tablets expected over the next six months. We believe about 51% of the tablet installed base is coming from iOS and 40% Android when all is said and done in 2013.”
Apple is expected to have a “stellar” fourth quarter following the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini launches which are already popular with the crowds. In the third quarter of the year, unit shipments were down 4% from the previous quarter, and revenues were down 3%, ABI research shows, as the company was preparing to unveil new tablets. Apple is rumored to launch a bigger, 12.9-inch iPad Pro next year.
Of the Android tablet makers, Samsung is seen as having gained the most market share in the third quarter of the year, showing 20% growth during the period. The company is rumored to start 2014 strong, with no less than four tablet launches planned in the first months of the new year, with one of them expected to feature a 12.2-inch display.