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Media Tablets will Surpass 285 Million Units in 2013

Most industry analysts would agree that media tablets have had a significant impact on the personal computing industry. But these devices also aided in the disruption of the legacy news and entertainment sector. That trend will likely continue into 2014, as still more people buy a new tablet.

Tablets have been on the top of many wish lists since 2010 when Apple launched its first iPad device. The installed base of big brand (Apple, Samsung, etc.) media tablets is expected to surpass 285 million units at the close of 2013, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.

The United States, which has been the largest single tablet market since inception, represents more than 70 million tablets alone -- or about one device for every four persons in the nation.

"Apple’s early tablet lead is not as evident three years into the market’s boom," says Jeff Orr, senior practice director at ABI Research.

The initial Apple iPad shipments are aging out with the first wave of replacement tablets expected over the next six months. ABI believes that about 51 percent of the tablet installed base is coming from Apple iOS and 40 percent Google Android, when all is said and done in 2013.

Samsung continues to make gains in the Android tablet segment with 20 percent growth experienced in the third quarter of 2013.

The company has significantly increased its marketing spend in the second half of the year as it promotes three distinct tablet sub-brands and looks to receive some halo effect from the success of its Galaxy S4 smartphones and the Galaxy Gear companion smart watch device.

Apple shored up its two-year average sales price (ASP) hemorrhaging in the third quarter of 2013 -- by increasing nearly 1 percent to $439.

Unit shipments for Apple were down 4 percent from the previous quarter and revenues were down about 3 percent as the company geared up for the launch of its iPad Air and second generation iPad Mini devices.

"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," adds Orr.

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