Branded Tablet Install Base to Hit 285 Million by Year's End

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If 2013 could be labeled anything for the tech world, it would certainly be the year of tablets. Every major tech manufacturer is now trying to stake their place in that rapidly growing market segment and tablet sales this year outpaced even the traditional PC market. Tablets were some of the most-wanted items of this year's Black Friday weekend, and continue to be hot items during the holiday sales period.

Market research firm ABI Research this week estimated that the install base for branded tablets will hit at least 285 million by the end of the year. The firm sees the market evening out between brands, with Apple's iPad domination of the tablet market beginning to wane.

ABI sees Apple ramping up iPad sales once again during the fourth quarter holiday season. The company's year-over-year shipment drop during the third quarter came just before the launch of its revamped iPad product lineup, which includes two of the most sought-after tablets on the market.

“Product transitions are rarely pretty, but ABI Research expects Apple to have a stellar 4Q’13 as it looks to satisfy an even larger audience purchasing tablets for the first time,” said Jeff Orr, senior practice director at ABI.

With its wide selection of tablets, ABI sees Samsung continuing to dominate the android tablet market. The firm points to the Korean manufacturer's increased ad spend as a significant factor in its ongoing success.

“Apple’s early tablet lead is not as evident three years into the market’s boom,” said Orr. “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.”

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