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Report: 64 Million Tablet Computers Sold in Q4

24 Jan, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Apple iPad

Worldwide sales of tablet computers reached 64 million units in the fourth quarter, up 119% from the previous-year period, according to new research from Futuresource Consulting.

Not surprisingly, Apple, which created the tablet market, remained the leader with high demand for the new 7-inch iPad despite limited supplies.

Samsung saw success with the competitively priced Galaxy Tab 2. The release of the Nexus 10, in collaboration with Google, may help to challenge Apple’s dominance in sales of larger-screened tablets, according to London-based Futuresource.

Amazon capitalized on increasing demand for smaller tablets and retained a comfortable market share with the release of its Kindle Fire HD. Google’s Nexus 7 also gained from increasing demand for smaller tablets. The high sales volumes reflected the impact cheaper Android tablets are making on Apple’s market share.

Microsoft saw challenging sales following the release of its Surface tablet running Windows 8 RT, though the upcoming release of the Surface Pro is expected to help turn this around.

The heightened demand for smaller and cheaper-priced tablets continues to impact the average retail price. Despite this price erosion, the overall value of the tablet market will continue to climb and prospects for the industry are extremely positive, with strong growth throughout the forecast period to 2016.

“The Q4 period accounted for nearly half of all tablet sales last year, culminating in total sales of 136 million units for 2012,” said Arun Gill, market analyst with Futuresource. “This clearly demonstrates the impact that tablet devices are having on consumers’ spending habits and lifestyle choices, as the category continues to push through the roof.”

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