Tablet growth has been astounding over the last few years, and the last three months of 2012 proved to be no different. According to industry-research from Futuresource Consulting, 64 million tablet were sold worldwide in Q4, marking nearly 100% quarterly growth for the industry.
Not surprising, Apple remained the market leader, experiencing high demand for the new 7-inch iPad mini -- although limited supply stifled the company's growth opportunities.
Samsung also saw success across 2012, namely with the affordable Galaxy Tab 2. While the collaboration between Google and Samsung with the Nexus 10 may challenge Apple's dominance in large-screened tablet sales in 2013.
Smaller Is better
Smaller and cheaper tablets emerged as strong sellers in 2012. Amazon did well, continuing to increase demand for its smaller tablets, while retaining a comfortable market share with the Kindle Fire HD. Asus' and Google's Nexus 7 also benefited from the increasing demand for smaller tablets.
The high volume small tablet sales may prove another avenue for companies to take away some of Apple's vast market share.
Microsoft, on the other hand, did not fare as well. Its flagship Surface tablet running the new Windows 8 RT saw slow sales, although the upcoming release of the Surface Pro is expected to help turn things around
With the demand for cheaper and smaller tablets ramping up, Futuresource predicts the average price of tablet units to drop in the future. However, despite the evident price erosion, the market-analysis firm expects the market to see strong growth throughout the forecast period to 2016.
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