Around 45 million tablets were sold in Western Europe last year — up 51.4 percent on 2012 — with Apple remaining in pole position in terms of shipments, new research has found.
And while growth in sales will likely now begin to slow, sales of tablets and two-in-one devices will jump by nearly 18 percent this year, according to calculations by analyst group IDC.
Apple's iPad accounted for nearly 15 million of the tablets shipped in Western Europe in 2013, the company said, followed by Samsung at 10.2 million. Asus was third with its own product line as well as the Nexus range it produces for Google.
Nearly 70 million PCs, tablets, and smartphones were shipped in Europe in the last quarter of 2013, and a grand total of 230 million digital devices across the year – up 9.7 percent compared to 2012. According to IDC the market is likely to grow five percent this year, led by strong demand for tablets.
"The accelerated adoption of tablets is having a significant impact on the way consumers and businesses use and consider their computing devices. The frontiers between private and professional are blurring," said Chrystelle Labesque, IDC's EMEA personal computing research manager.
More tablets sold means less consumers buying PCs: the consumer PC market contracted by 2.4 percent in the last quarter of the year, even though the commercial segment grew 3.5 percent thanks to PC renewal projects in business.
IDC said that this year, the PC market will benefit from "a softer contraction" in the consumer space and sustained business shipments, driven by ongoing PC refreshes.
IDC said HP maintained "solid leadership" in the European PC market, while Lenovo continued to be the fastest — and only growing — player in 2013 and reinforced its second position.
Unsurprisingly, smartphones continue to sell in the largest volumes — accounting for 55 percent of the total smart connected device space as defined by IDC and 38 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, growing at10.4 percent for the year. IDC said growth is expected to remain "sustained" in 2014 at around four percent.
Samsung continued to lead the Western European smartphone market, followed by Apple and Sony, with the top three covering more than 70 percent of the market in 2013.