The tablet market appears poised for another series of major growth. According to the latest market study conducted by Gartner, the total number of tablet devices shipped in 2013 is expected to hit 184 million, which is up 53.4% from the same period a year ago. The market for PCs, meanwhile, is projected to receive another devastating blow, with shipments forecast to shrink from 341 million units in 2012 down to approximately 303 million units this year (an 8% YoY decrease).
The rising optimism currently surrounding tablet adoption is not unfounded: In addition to Apple (which is expected to announce the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 tomorrow), major companies such as LG, Microsoft, Samsung, and ASUS are all anticipated to release their own upgraded tablet devices in the coming periods. Low-cost alternatives such as Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX, and various white-box tablets are also making respectable impact in emerging markets thanks to their affordability.
Apple’s iPad and affordable tablets are currently suggested by Gartner to be the main drivers behind the worldwide tablet shipment growth. The former’s global market share, though, is still observed to be below that of Android tablets as a whole.
The original table from Gartner outlining the shipment changes for tablets, PCs, mobile phones, and ultra-mobile devices can be seen below: