Android tablets to pass the iPad this year

Tablets running the Android operating system will overtake the iPad this year for the first time, according to a new report from research firm IDC. IDC says a growing variety of smaller and cheaper Android tablets will gain significant traction in the consumer marketplace this year and begin to erode the dominance of Apple's iPad.

The iPad has reigned supreme in the tablet market since it launched in 2010.
While sales and shipments of the iPad and iPhone are expected to grow at impressive rates, lower-cost Android tablets will become huge sources of growth for companies such as Samsung.
According to IDC, iPad shipments are expected to make up 46% of the tablet market for 2013, down from 51% in 2012. Tablets running Android are expected to increase their market share to 49% in 2013, up from 42% in 2012. The smaller screen market is expected to grow rapidly in the tablet segment.

"One in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size. And in terms of shipments, we expect smaller tablets to continue growing in 2013 and beyond," IDC said in a press release.

While Android tablets are expected to be one of the biggest movers in the tablet market, IDC is predicting that Microsoft will grow its market share in the tablet market as well. IDC says that during 2012 the Windows 8 tablet platform had only 1% of the market. By 2017, the research firm predicts that Microsoft will grow its share the tablet market to 7.4%.
Some are also expecting a similar decline in sales for the iPhone in the smartphone industry as popular Android-powered devices from Samsung flood the market.

Analyst Peter Misek from Jefferies compared Apple to BlackBerry this week saying that the iPhone was on the offensive against Samsung Android-powered smartphones.
"Historically when handset makers fall out of favor (e.g., the Razr, Blackberry, HTC) they fall faster/further than expected," said Misek.

Sources: Reuters, IDC

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