ABI Research: Tablet shipments expected to topple $64 billion in 2013

Looking back a few years from now, 2013 could be pegged as the year that the tablets took over.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Traditional PCs are having a rough time right now, but that can't be said for tablets.

A new report from ABI Research asserts that worldwide tablet sales are expected to surpass approximately $64 billion in 2013.

To break that down further, ABI expects that mobile device manufacturers will ship approximately 150 million tablets by the end of the year. That allotment is said to be worth $64 billion.

So technically, there's still a differentiation between shipments and purchases by consumers, but that's a lot of dough either way you look at it.

Researchers pointed toward the form factor of the tablet as the key selling point, suggesting that the "convenience and mobility benefits afforded by tablet computers are showing no signs of slowing interest after record unit shipments and revenues were reported by device vendors in 2012."

But which mobile OEMs are expected to benefit the most from this jump?

ABI hinted that Samsung could end up with the upper hand here -- if it can execute a well-planned strategy, according to ABI mobile devices senior practice director Jeff Orr.

Given that Apple has dominated the tablet market since the debut of the iPad in 2010, Orr also discussed the iOS maker's prospects this year.

The tide is definitely turning toward Android-based tablets, though Apple will not slouch as it feels the competition approaching. The iPad mini was a timely introduction in 2012, though ABI Research remains cautious about the bottom line impact this is having for Apple. The first quarter of 2013 should be the first time where production was able to meet market demand and a better sense of how much 9.7” iPad volume has switched to the smaller, lower-cost mini will be understood.

But just yesterday it was reported that the next iPads could be delayed as the Cupertino, Calif.-based company works out some kinks around the display and possible fingerprint technology.

Thus, this could be where Samsung wedges itself in further into the global tablet market and take advantage of that delay.

ABI's full report on media tablets and e-readers is available online now.

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