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Global Tablet Shipments to Reach 145 Million in 2013

Traditional PC manufacturers that missed or underestimated the growing demand for media tablets have had to consider drastic measures -- as a result of their apparent lack of strategic foresight.

Whether these devices are being used for entertainment, convenience, or enhancing productivity, media tablets continue to gain mainstream adoption in the worldwide marketplace.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, an estimated 145 million tablet devices will ship globally in 2013.

A combination of new market entrants, more affordable choices for consumers, and increased adoption by business users will support the next wave of growth.

"The rate of innovation is slowing as tablet vendors augment their product portfolios to meet the needs of market audiences," said Jeff Orr, senior practice director at ABI Research.

The late 2012 launches of Apple’s iPad mini and a variety of slates based on Intel architecture and the Windows 8 operating systems will likely begin to show some progress this year.

Most of the attention for tablets is coming from North America -- where the outlook for 2013 has the region consuming just over 50 percent of worldwide shipments.

Business interest in tablets is expected to grow to 19 percent of all shipments in 2013 as more PC OEMs unveil product solutions designed for the workplace.

While some cannibalization of the PC installed base is likely, the majority of new tablet opportunity comes from workers that have, until now, worked without the benefits of computing technologies.

Recent media reports cited the uptake of tablets as the sole cause for the demise of the eBook Reader, though the ongoing ABI Research study of the eReader market reiterates that tablets have little to do with the trajectory of dedicated digital readers.

"The facts are that the U.S. market continues to dominate eReader shipments and an aging Baby Boomer population looking to replicate the print reading experience is a waning audience," adds Orr.

ABI believes that if other world regions do not successfully organize digital publishing markets, the dedicated eReader market could go away -- without regard for the adoption of tablets and other mobile devices.

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