145 million tablets in 2013

Tablet innovation will slow in 2013 but sales speed up

145 million tablets will ship worldwide in this year, with increasingly affordable devices and greater adoption in business but little device innovation.

ABI Research made its tablet shipment forecast for 2013 suggesting that a combination of new market entrants, more affordable choices for consumers, and increased adoption by business audiences will support the growth.

ABI claims that while some cannibalization of the PC installed base is likely, the majority of new tablet opportunity comes from workers that have, until now, worked without the benefits of computing technologies. See: Android Tablet reviews

Most of the attention for tablets is coming from North America where the outlook for 2013 has the region consuming just over 50 percent of worldwide shipments.

Business interest in tablets is expected to grow to 19 percent of all shipments in 2013 as more PC OEMs unveil product solutions designed for the workplace.

"The rate of innovation is slowing as tablet vendors augment their product portfolios to meet the needs of market audiences," says senior practice director Jeff Orr.

"The late 2012 launches of Apple's iPad mini and a variety of slates based on Intel architecture and new Windows tablets will only begin to show their progress this year."

Recent media reports cited the uptake of tablets as the sole cause for the demise of the eBook Reader, though ABI Research's 10+ year study of the eReader market reiterates that tablets have little to do with the trajectory of dedicated digital readers.

"The facts are that the US market continues to dominate eReader shipments and an aging Baby Boomer population looking to replicate the print reading experience is a waning audience," adds Orr.

"If other world regions do not successfully organize digital publishing markets, the dedicated eReader market will go away without regard for adoption of tablets and other mobile devices."

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