Tablets are now eating significantly into sales of traditional PCs and could soon overshadow PC sales altogether. This past holiday season (particularly Black Friday sales) further propelled the growth of the tablet market, firmly planting mobile devices as a dominant force for online commerce.
DigiTimes Research today estimated that 78.5 million tablets shipped worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2013. This represents a 25% increase in tablet shipments from the third quarter 2013 and a massive 29.8% increase over the number of tablets shipped during the fourth quarter 2012. These numbers match well with fourth quarter predictions that the tablet market would see 20% sell-through growth during the holidays.
As a brand, Apple still holds a firm lead on tablet market share. DigiTimes estimates that 29.7% of all tablet shipments during the fourth quarter 2013 were iPads. Apple is expected to maintain this lead as the tablet market grows and is predicted to ship at least 80 million iPads during 2014.
No other tablet brands come close to the tablet market share that Apple controlled during the fourth quarter, though Samsung came closest with 17.4%. Other notable tablet players include Amazon (5.4%), Lenovo (4.2%), and Asus (2.8%). All other brands besides Apple combined for a 36.6% market share during the holidays, and smaller "white-box" brands combined for almost as much (33.8%)
Though Apple leads tablet shipments, Google's Android platform is also building a market firm position for tablet OS share. DigiTimes estimates that over half (51.2%) of the tablets shipped during the fourth quarter 2013 were running a version of Android.
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